Yearly, the month of April is noticed as ‘Parkinson’s Consciousness Month’, and on April 11, individuals from all over the world come collectively to lift consciousness about this degenerative mind dysfunction.
In keeping with Dr Pankaj Agarwal, head of the Parkinson’s and Motion Problems clinic and DBS Program at World Hospitals Mumbai, it’s the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells within the substantia nigra, a small however essential space positioned deep contained in the mind, which is the basis reason behind Parkinson’s illness (PD).
“Dopamine is the chemical that carries the signal within motor circuits of the brain, and when its levels decrease or are not enough, one develops the shaking, slowness and stiffness of body parts typical of PD,” defined Dr Agarwal.
He shared some frequent myths and misconceptions round a number of facets of PD.
Fable 1: ‘Parkinson’s means solely shaking palms’
Reality: Tremor is frequent in PD, however 10-15 per cent of sufferers might not have tremors in any respect. These sufferers might as a substitute have slowness, stiffness of their physique elements, strolling issue and lack of stability as their major issues. Every affected person with PD has totally different signs and no two sufferers are alike.
Fable 2: ‘Parkinson’s solely causes physique movement-related (motor) issues’
Reality: ‘Non-motor’ signs similar to despair, sleep disturbances, constipation, lack of scent, urinary incontinence, and dizziness on standing are all frequent and essential options that want correct consideration and therapy in PD sufferers, alongside the extra apparent motor options.
Fable 3: ‘There is no good treatment for Parkinson’s’
Reality: There are a number of remedies that permit sufferers to reside significantly better, and even near-normal lives, when correctly utilized by PD specialist medical doctors similar to motion issues neurologists. Dopamine-altering drugs of assorted varieties, physiotherapy and life-style modification all play an essential position. In some sufferers, the place the illness is superior or extreme, surgical procedure (DBS) will very successfully management signs, in addition to have an excellent high quality of life for a protracted time frame.
Fable 4: ‘If I have Parkinson’s, I’ll turn out to be disabled or die early’
Reality: Not true. PD shouldn’t be a deadly illness, in contrast to a extreme coronary heart assault or stroke. Most sufferers with Parkinson’s, if supplied early and acceptable neurological care, can lead near-normal lives with a near-normal lifespan and manageable signs.
Fable 5: ‘If I have PD, there is not much I can do besides taking medicines lifelong’
Reality: There are a lot of easy life-style modifications for PD. Consuming proper, wholesome meals, common train, yoga and meditation all assist preserve a way of independence and a greater high quality of life for a protracted time frame. Additionally for chosen sufferers with extreme illness, there’s surgical therapy out there for superior PD, known as deep mind stimulation (DBS). DBS is a process by which electrodes are positioned within the mind in areas immediately controlling physique actions, to very successfully cut back tremor, stiffness and slowness.
Fable 6: ‘Parkinson’s is discovered solely in outdated individuals’
Reality: Though the vast majority of PD sufferers are over the age of 60 years, early — or young-onset PD, when signs begin earlier than the age of 40 — can also be more and more frequent. Don’t be stunned for those who see somebody with PD of their 30s and even 20s.
Fable 7: ‘Parkinson’s by no means runs in households as it isn’t hereditary’
Reality: Whereas this can be true within the majority (80%+) PD instances, at the very least 15-20 % of Parkinson’s is now thought-about to be genetic in origin. A number of genes at the moment are well-known to trigger PD and trigger in lots of members of 1 household.
Fable 8: ‘Stem cell therapy can cure Parkinson’s’
Reality: Incorrect. There is no such thing as a scientific proof that it helps and it may well even be dangerous. Worldwide, scientific Parkinson’s communities advise sufferers to avoid stem cell remedy and different unscientific claims of a treatment. Certainly there isn’t any treatment for PD but and analysis is underway.
Fable 9: ‘Deep brain stimulation is “experimental” therapy’
Reality: Whereas it might sound horrifying and futuristic, it’s been round and efficiently used for many years, with >150,000 PD sufferers having undergone DBS worldwide. DBS works very equally to a pacemaker, besides the wire is within the motor a part of the mind, not within the coronary heart. It is among the most secure mind surgical procedures that exist, as it is vitally minimally invasive. Scientific proof in favour of DBS has been round for 20 years and is certainly growing yearly. It’s been a normal process for PD worldwide for the previous twenty years.