Parkinson Disease is mainly a disease of ageing. Patients with Parkinson's exhibit an almost expressionless face as if fixed in a gaze. There are tremors seen especially in the hands and the head. The voice can be of one pitch, the posture is often stooped and the patient moves with a shuffle, it is a progressive disorder.
Sufferers with Parkinson's are found to have lost certain specialized cells at a particularly rapid rate, unlike the loss expected in normal ageing. These specialized cells produce a chemical in the brain known as Dopamine. This is one of the essential chemicals needed to assist in transferring information from one nerve ending to another, along a pathway. These are called Neurotransmitters.
Treatment is based on drug therapy, which can help to stimulate the release of Dopamine from other cells, however many patients eventually become immune to this type of drug therapy and research is ongoing to find a better alternative.
Physiotherapy has also been found useful to improve the movement of sufferers and to help to keep them mobile for as long as possible. This disease does not affect life expectancy, although the quality of life can be seriously restricted.
Any aid or adaptation to the home environment that makes life easier for the sufferer is well advised as despite what it seems Parkinson's disease does not affect the thought processes of the brain and does not cause Dementia.
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