Currently there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease. Nevertheless, significant advances in research regarding the understanding of the causes, whether genetic or environmental, give hope that for the future.
Proper medication and expert knowledge on the disease can help patients manage their symptoms and cope with the disease much better than a few years ago.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are caused by the deterioration of neurons located in the substantia nigra of the brain. In healthy people these neurons produce dopamine, an organic chemical acting as a neurotransmitter of signals responsible for motor control. Without properly functioning neurons producing dopamine, smooth control of body movements is impaired.
There is no way to prevent Parkinson’s disease. However, disease management can be really sophisticated and tailored to offer many years of joyful life to patients.
Essential Tremor could sometimes be mistaken for Parkinson’s disease tremor. Although similar, Essential Tremor is a different movement disorder, characterized by involuntary shaking possibly affecting the arms, hands, fingers, head, voice or other body parts. What differentiates Essential Tremor is that it is most commonly an action tremor, which means that the symptom actually gets more intense when the patient uses the affected muscles. Parkinson’s disease tremor usually manifests as resting tremor, being more intense during rest and disappearing when the patient moves the affected body part. Essential Tremor is neither associated nor correlated with Parkinson’s disease. It is drug-resistant and worsens with caffeine and lack of sleep.
The first and most important thing to do when you start feeling Parkinson’s disease symptoms is to seek proper help and medical advice. It is of paramount importance to have all the symptoms recorded to be able to track the progress of the disease and design a tailored medication regimen, involving the minimum effective drug dosages and combination. It is also very important to be properly informed on the disease and its symptoms, keep your friends and family involved and not be shy to talk about your condition and ask your treating physician for information and advice on everything you need to know. Medication and expert knowledge can help you live a normal life, keep on being productive and valuable for your family and all those close to you.