Parkinson’s disease is challenging for the patient and their loved ones, but treatments are available to slow down the disease and impact day-to-day life.
Alex Hayes:When you have a new patient who is getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, how do you define for them what it is? Kara Wyant, MD:I tell them it’s a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease, which means that a little part of your brain is slowly dying off. In Parkinson’s disease, that’s the dopamine-producing cell and that’s what’s giving you your symptoms. Alex Hayes:Dr. Nwabuobi, can you just kind of run me through a list of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease? Lynda Nwabuobi, MD:People know a lot about the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. The tremor, the slowness, the shuffling, the masked faces. People may notice balance is affected, smaller handwriting, which we call micrographia, a reduced volume of speech, so the voice becomes lower. The other part of Parkinson’s disease are the non-motor symptoms. Some examples are constipation, anxiety, depression, acting out your dreams, which is called R.E.M. sleep behavior disorder. These are some of the signs that we put together when we see a patient to let us know that this is probably
Ways to make life easier with Parkinson’s
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