Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of a neurological disorder that can affect the normal physical movements such as walking, talking and writing. It is named after Dr. James Parkinson, the London doctor who identified Parkinson’s disease as a specific condition.
Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the part of the brain known as the substantia nigra, which produces dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical substance that allows the parts of the brain to send messages for coordinating the movements. When the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, then these parts of the brain will be unable to perform normal functions.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are classified into two types. They are a motor and non-motor symptoms.
Motor symptoms include three primary features. They are listed below
This is the first symptom of Parkinson’s disease and this usually begins in one hand. It occurs for about 70% of the people suffering from Parkinson’s.
2. The slowness of movement (bradykinesia):
This symptom can be found in people with Parkinson’s who has a difficulty in initiating the movements or takes longer time for performing the physical movements.
3. Stiffness or rigidity of muscles:
This includes the problems in doing some activities such as standing up from a chair or rolling over in bed.
Non-motor symptoms are as follows
⦁ Disturbances in sleep
⦁ Urinary urgency
Initially, physiotherapists assess the individual to know about the effect of the disease by diagnosing it. In the earlier stages, the emphasis of treatment will be focused on understanding the condition of the individual and maintaining a general level of fitness. In the later stages, the emphasis of the treatment is to include a support network for the individual.
The assessment includes the required combination of education and intervention for the patient. Some of the examples for assessment are listed below
Teach the patient to perform automatic movements such as walking, sitting down and standing up which can be difficult for them and it can be improved by new learning ways. The physiotherapist may visit the patient frequently and assist them to perform some activities.
Regular physical exercise can make the muscles stiff and keeps the joints flexible. So that the actions can be smooth and efficient. Muscle strength can be improved by doing general or specific exercises or by following regular exercise program in the hospital or at home.
The physiotherapist advice to maintain the level of fitness by advising them to take a sport such as a golf, swimming, or undergoing yoga classes which can help them to reduce their stress that can worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. And also helps the patients to maintain balance and boosts their confidence level.