What are the most recognizable symptoms of Parkinson's disease?
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The four motor symptoms that are considered cardinal in Parkinson's disease are the tremor, slowness of movement (bradykinesia), rigidity and postural instability. Initially, tremor appears in only one hand and eventually affects both the hands with the progress of the disease. Bradykinesia is a very common consequence of disturbances in motor planning. It is a hindrance to planning, initiation, and execution of a movement. Postural instability leads to impaired balance, deterioration of confidence, reduced mobility and frequent falls. Physical exercise can be helpful for the patient. Exercising regularly may improve mobility, flexibility, strength, gait speed and quality of life.
During which stage of Parkinson's disease is postural instability a common occurrence?
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The patient suffers from postural instability in the later stages of Parkinson's disease. Before the development of bilateral symptoms, especially in the case of young people, instability is usually absent in the initial stages. The number of falls experienced by the patient is directly proportional to the severity of the disease. In 40% of the cases, patients experience falls, and in 10% of the cases, people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease may have falls weekly. Physical therapy might be beneficial to patients.
Cigarette smokers and coffee-drinkers are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than non-smokers.
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The reason behind this is not known, but it has been seen in most cases that people who smoke cigarettes have a lesser chance of developing Parkinson's disease. Using tobacco on a regular basis may actually prevent the development of Parkinson's disease. Also, studies have found that consumption of caffeinated beverages or drinks containing high amounts of caffeine can act as a protective measure for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. Patients should abstain from smoking as it is injurious to health and causes lung cancer. However, they can consume caffeine in moderation.
Levodopa is the most widely used drug for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
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Levodopa or L-DOPA is the precursor to the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline), which are collectively known as catecholamines. It is readily converted to dopamine in the brain and provides temporary relief to the patient from the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Levodopa usage must be monitored, because long-term use may lead to certain complications.
Lifestyle changes will not help in dealing with Parkinson s disease.
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With Parkinson's, your everyday life can severely be affected, however, with lifestyle changes you can very well manage the complications. Moderate exercise can strengthen your muscles which will help improve your mobility. Eating a balanced and nutritional diet is beneficial, and you can enroll yourself to support groups to distress yourself. Planning your house in such a way that the floor is not very slippery, this can help the patients take care of their regular chores without difficulty.