Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that impairs the patient’s motor skills, speech and other functions.
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that involves many unpleasant symptoms like tremor, muscle rigidity, bradykinesia and slowing down of physical movements.
Normally, dopamine is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. In diseased patients, the reduction in the formation of dopamine leads to decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia causes these primary symptoms of the disease.
Life expectancy of Parkinson’s disease patients
People with Parkinson’s disease will most probably live to complete their natural life cycle. There are many myths concerning the life expectancy of these patients. Most of those myths point out to the secondary complications of the disease. However, recent studies conducted on patients with Parkinson’s disease, show that the survival rate of patients after 10 years of diagnosis is the same as in any other healthy individual. Studies also reveal that even, if a patient suffers from Parkinson’s disease for 15 or even 20 years, the life expectancy lowers only to some extent.
The main problem with the prolonged course of illness is that the patient’s body starts to degenerate. This may result in decrease in life expectancy of the patients. Usually, health problems that are not directly connected to Parkinson’s disease contributing to the higher mortality rate in patients. Another interesting conclusion of the study is that life expectancy in female patients is somewhat higher than that of the male patients.
Stages of the disease
Parkinson’s disease starts with many motion-related symptoms like the loss of balance, stiff muscles, tremors and the like. In the late stages of disease, patients may need a wheelchair for movement. Also, the late stage of the disease is distinguished by the change in facial expressions and the difficulty to perform normal day-to-day activities. The final stage of the disease distinguishes by dementia and inability to perform even the simplest tasks like washing, feeding etc.
Treatment of the disease
At present, there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but medications, surgery and multidisciplinary treatment can bring a relief from the unpleasant symptoms of the disease. The therapy mainly concerns with general wellness maintenance, physiotherapy, exercise, and nutrition. Treatment of Parkinson’s disease does not aim to cure the disease but to improve patient’s quality of life. Medications used in treatment help to maintain optimum levels of dopamine in the brain, and prevent complications in motor controls.