Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Stop!!! Don’t read past this paragraph, Yet ;). How much do you know about Parkinson’s Disease? Take this Quiz to see how much you know. I got 6 out of 10 questions correct! Which to be honest I really guessed on half of those 6 I got correct. Which goes to show how much I need to learn as well.
Okay, now that you’ve taken the quiz lets learn more together.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic neurologic condition named after Dr. James Parkinson, who first described the syndrome in 1817. PD is a slowly progressive disease, which causes a gradual loss of the nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Because dopamine carries signals to the part of the brain that control movement and coordination, decreased dopamine levels lead to the cardinal motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
- Resting tremor
- Generalized slowness (bradykinesia)
- Stiffness of the limbs (cogwheel rigidity)
What the what? In lame man’s terms that means Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. Parkinson’s symptoms usually begin gradually and get worse over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking.
It is estimated that at least one million people in the United States suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and roughly six million worldwide. Parkinson’s disease is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease
Parkinson’s disease can be effectively managed with medication, lifestyle modifications, and, in some cases, surgery.
Since motor symptoms of PD are caused by decreased dopamine levels in the brain, most medications are aimed at replenishing or mimicking the action of dopamine, and can be very effective in controlling the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Other types of medications are used to treat the non-motor symptoms.
Patients benefit from taking an active role in their healthcare. Daily exercise, proper diet, and cognitive stimulation are very important aspects of the treatment regimen. In addition, taking steps to maintain mental well-being results in more effective management of the disease.
For more advanced patients, surgical placement of a deep brain stimulator can be useful.
The most important thing that you and I can do is spread awareness about this disease to those around you. Send this blog and the quiz link with #KnowMorePD to everyone you know. If you take our quiz during the month of April, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card!
Information for this blog was taken in part from: https://parkinsonfoundation.org/about-parkinsons-disease?gclid=Cj0KCQjwyN-DBhCDARIsAFOELTmNBr-oeKPY7QOvXN1-kmg-2_X0rzMqC7d17s5yc5fmxeIRP9XZNUcaAkdPEALw_wcB
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