What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s is a nervous disorder that affects the brains motor system. By this, it becomes difficult for you to coordinate your movements. At its early stages, it is hard to notice. Hence, the signs and symptoms progress with time and may start with slight hand tremors that are not alarming. Over time, your speech, general movement, sleep and thinking may start retrogressing.
At its onset, it is well masked. With time, your face may show close to no expressions; your hands may get shaky as you walk and also, the speech tends to become soft and incoherent.
The condition is known to worsen with time. This should not be alarming since you can get help from parkinson’s center with Medications and management programs to help you manage the condition.
Effects of Parkinson’s to the Brain
As we have seen above, Parkinson’s result due to the problem with the nervous system. These nerve cells connect to the substantia nigra of the brain. Some cells of the substantia nigra synthesis dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for the relay of information around the brain. Dopamine causes the coordinated action of the brain to respond to stimulus.
Example; in the event of a prick on the skin, the nigra cells get stimulated to release dopamine which aids the brain to formulate a response which may mean withdrawal from the pricking object.
However, if you have Parkinson’s, the nerve cells breakdown preventing the production of dopamine. When dopamine production drops, it becomes difficult for the body to respond to many stimuli.
Thus, and your movement gets affected. As more cells of the substantia nigra die, the more the symptoms become visible. However, it is alarming that you can have Parkinson’s for years and the symptoms remain suppressed until more than 80% of the substantia nigra cells are dead.
Effects on the body
Many of the effects Parkinson’s have on the body revolves around movement.
Commonly, Parkinson’s manifest itself through tremors. However, not everyone who has tremors has Parkinson’s disease. Your arms, legs, lips and jaws become shaky especially even when you are not involved in any action. The condition may worsen during the day when you are active. However, at night, the tremors are reduced.
Any muscle in the body can get affected. When muscles become rigid, it becomes hard to walk or execute simple tasks that involve your limbs.
With time, Parkinson’s limits you motion. Simple tasks may seem daunting, and you consume plenty of time in one task. When walking, the strides shorten and sometimes, you drag the feet when walking. When seated, you may strain to rise.
Loss of automatic movements
Unconscious actions such as swallowing, blinking and smiling may appear delayed. Many of these signs manifests in a blank expression where the reception of the information seems less impactful, or you can say, the person seems disinterested.
In conclusion, it is difficult to tell when Parkinson’s kick starts. However, it is advisable to get medical assistance if you experience the above symptoms. Remember, if the condition becomes neglected, it worsens with time. The medical team will provide the resources needed to manage the condition positively.