Parkinson's is one of the most common diseases of old age. The progression is i.d.R. gradual and spreads over many years. This makes it all the more important to adapt to the new life situation and to reshape one's own life accordingly. This makes it easier to live as independently as possible, despite changed circumstances, and to look forward to everyday life with joy. This article summarizes important facts about Parkinson's disease. Shows perspectives for everyday life.
What is Parkinson's?
Parkinson's disease, also known as Parkinson's disease, is a neurological disorder. It thus affects the nervous system of the body. With 6.3 million affected patients worldwide, Parkinson's is one of the most common neurological diseases. While women and men are affected more or less equally, there are clear differences in terms of age groups affected. About 80 percent of those affected are 60 or older at diagnosis. In the course of aging societies and the longevity of individuals, the number of Parkinson's cases is also on the rise. By the year 2030, a total of approx. 8.7 million Parkinson's diagnoses, according to the Swiss Parkinson's Association.
Parkinson's disease: symptoms
The symptoms of Parkinson's disease can vary greatly from case to case. Also, the disease progresses at different rates for everyone. Therefore, the list below can only draw a very general symptom profile. However, the points will help you identify possible Parkinson's disease:
– slowing of movement, z. B. when walking or writing – stiffness/tension of the muscles, especially in the arms and legs – tremor at rest (= "rest tremor") – postural instability – and as a result: increased falls – if necessary. psychological problems such as z. B. depression – sleep disturbances – digestive problems – temperature fluctuations – blood prere fluctuations – in advanced stages: if necessary. Brain disorders
course of the disease& Life expectancy with Parkinson's
Parkinson's is a disease with a gradual onset, which can have many different faces to boot. Thus, each affected person can experience different courses and degrees of severity. Typical early symptoms, however, are u. a. the following: trembling of one of the hands, cramps in the arms and legs, neck tension, fatigue, listlessness, constipation, disturbances of the sense of smell, difficulty in walking and, if necessary, in the head. Depression. The symptoms increase continuously in the course of the disease. This continuity is related to the ongoing cellular atrophy in the so-called Substantia nigra . The slowing of movement in particular becomes more and more obvious. It then seems as if all movements generally become "smaller" or weaker: Often speech becomes quieter or. more slurred, steps smaller, facial expressions appear less expressive. Activities that require good fine motor skills become more difficult.
While the disease can be controlled quite well with medication in the first five years, symptom control becomes more difficult in the following years. There are then fluctuations in effect during the course of the day. As a result of these effect variations, very contradictory symptoms can occur. For example, to "involuntary over-movements". Then again to pure immobility. The non-motor symptoms of the early stage listed above can also increase now. So z. B. the depression, indigestion and fluctuations in blood prere. As the duration of action of the medication now decreases, it must be taken more frequently during the day.
Communication facilitates treatment
Maintain detailed and constant communication with the treating physicians and therapists, especially during this phase of the disease. The better they are informed about the current symptoms and the course of the day, the more precisely the medication can be adjusted.
Problems in everyday life? With us you will find the right support!
At Careship, you will find everyday helpers who will support you exactly according to your needs. Whether in the household, with purchases or other handles. It comes i.d.R. always the same person from the immediate neighborhood. This means that support can be booked spontaneously, flexibly and also by the hour.
Late stages of Parkinson's disease
In the later stages of Parkinson's disease, it is advisable to have the course of the disease monitored, at least temporarily, as an inpatient. There are specialized Parkinson's centers for this purpose, which also help those affected with the so-called "neurorehabilitation". These include speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The aim of the treatments is to counteract the effects of the disease as much as possible and to make everyday life with Parkinson's easier. If, in the course of the advanced disease, medications no longer work, surgical methods such as z. B. the device-supported "deep brain stimulation" can be resorted to.
The life expectancy of people with Parkinson's today is not very different from "normal" life expectancy. And even if the disease demands a lot from the affected person and the relatives in everyday life and many routines have to be redesigned, the quality of life can be kept at an acceptable level for a very long time. However, this positive prognosis only applies to so-called "idiopathic Parkinson's disease", i.e. the type of Parkinson's disease that breaks out without any identifiable cause. There are other types and subtypes of Parkinson's disease that would result in a significantly shorter life expectancy for those with the disease. Parkinson's is a complex disease. Everyday life with it not always easy. Careship helps you gain direction and support in this new life situation, making the next few years as comfortable as possible.
What are the causes of Parkinson's disease??
It has not yet been possible to research which individual factors ultimately lead to the onset of Parkinson's disease. As with so many diseases, Parkinson's is thought to be caused by an adverse interaction of genetic predisposition and environmental influences. However, the central role – as far as is known – is played by the so-called Substantia nigra . The substantia nigra is a blackish colored area in the midbrain, interspersed with nerve tie. The accelerated death of nerve cells in the Substantia nigra and the chemical consequences of this are directly related to Parkinson's disease.
The Parkinson's diagnosis
Parkinson's disease begins i.d.R. with so-called sensitivities. Disturbances of well-being go beyond mere malaise. These stressful, prolonged mood disorders are for many the reason to visit the family doctor, who then goes on a "search for clues". Only after some time and if necessary. by means of your assistance (z. B. In the form of symptom protocols), the family doctor has the chance to gradually narrow down what could be the reason for the mood disorders. Ultimately, additional examinations such as cranial MRI, brain SPECT and ultrasound provide more certainty. For a clinical diagnosis, u.a. a so-called bradykinesis as well as another symptom (z. B. tremor). Bradykinesis is the slowing of movement and tremor is the tremor characteristic of Parkinson's disease, i.d.R. a hand concerning.
therapy& Treatment options for Parkinson's
The therapeutic goal in the treatment of Parkinson's is primarily to secure and strengthen the independence of the person affected, since Parkinson's itself cannot (yet) be cured. Further treatment goals are the preservation or, if necessary. restoring the quality of life, preventing the need for care, and preventing concomitant diseases so that the treatment of Parkinson's disease is not complicated by further complications. With regard to drug therapy, aspects such as the stage of the disease, the symptoms, the age and also the activity of the patient play a role. Finally, it also depends on whether the person in question has certain intolerances and whether previous medications have already shown good efficacy. Classically, idiopathic Parkinson's disease is treated with the industrially produced drug levodopa (also: L-dopa or L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine). The drug is absorbed by nerve cells and the body then produces dopamine, which in turn has a positive effect on Parkinson's symptoms. The whole process is relatively complex. If interested, talk to your doctors about it to learn more about exactly how it works.