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Parkinson’s Disease – Symptoms and Treatment by Dr. V. P. Singh, Chairman, MBBS, Mch, DNB

Dr. V.P. Singh is one of the best neurosurgeons in the country with over 30 years of experience. At present, Dr. V.P. Singh is the Chairman of the Institute of Neurosciences at Medanta, Gurugram. He started the Gamma Knife Unit and Epilepsy Surgery program at AIIMS, New Delhi and has operated on 400 intracranial aneurysm cases. He specializes in radiosurgery, epilepsy surgery, cerebrovascular surgery, and brain tumor surgery.

After completing his MBBS and MCh from AIIMS, New Delhi, Dr. V.P. Singh, earned his DNB from the National Board of Examinations in 1989. Before Medanta, he worked as the Head of the Department at AIIMS, senior consultant at VIMHANS and Apollo Indraprastha Hospitals, New Delhi.

Dr. V.P. Singh has won several awards including the Diploma of merit for excellent poster at 3rd Asian Conference of Neurological Surgeons Nagoya, 2000, Best paper award at the 7th Annual Indian Epilepsy Association Conference, 1999, and Best paper award at the 4th Annual Indian Epilepsy Association Conference, 1996. 

 Dr. V.P Singh is a member of the Journal of Pediatric Neurosurgery, President of Indian Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Secretary of Indian Society of Cerebrovascular Surgery, Neurological Society of India, and Executive Committee of Indian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery.

 

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system. Generally, Parkinson’s disease starts with tremors but as the disorder worsens, the dopamine level in the brain falls, movements become slow and stiff. Parkinson’s is an incurable and chronic condition but can be controlled with treatment.

 

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease progresses gradually and early symptoms such as mild tremors are often ignored or unnoticed. Symptoms of the disease differ from person to person but one side of the body is usually affected more than the other side. Symptoms may include:

  • Tremors: The most common symptom of Parkinson’s disease is tremors that start from the hands before spreading to other parts such as the head etc.

  • Slow movements: Normal movements become slow as Parkinson’s disease progresses. Simple tasks may take a longer time to finish, or the length of strides may become shorter when walking.

  • Muscle Stiffness: Soreness in various parts of the body that limits movement.

  • Restricted Involuntary Movements: The ability for movements such as swinging of the arms when walking, or smiling, blinking is diminished.

  • Changes in speech: Slurring while talking, or speaking without expression in monotones.

  • Changes in writing: Changes in handwriting or difficulty in writing

  • Loss of posture/balance: Stooping or loss of balance when standing or walking. 

  • Dementia: Confusion or difficulty in remembering or thinking

  • Swallowing problems: Accumulation of saliva in the mouth as chewing becomes slow making it difficult to swallow.

  • Bladder problems: Unable to hold the urine or problems in emptying the bladder

  • Constipation: As the digestive tract slows down, constipation occurs

  • Problems in Sleeping: Waking up in the middle of the night or finding it difficult to fall asleep.

Parkinson’s usually develops after the age of 60 although younger people have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Those who have multiple members in their family suffering from Parkinson’s are at a greater risk of the disease. Men are at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s than women of the same age. 

 

Treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder where brain cells that produce a chemical called dopamine start to die. Dopamine helps to send messages to the part of the brain responsible for movement and muscle coordination. As the cells die and the dopamine level falls, it becomes difficult to do small tasks.

Medicines that increase or substitute the dopamine levels in the brain are used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Medicines can be taken orally, inhaled, or infused directly into the small intestines. 

Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical treatment to control tremors and problems in walking for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than five years. An electrode(s) is inserted in the brain while the generator powering the electrodes is attached to the chest. The generator sends electrical pulses to the electrode in the brain to block the nerve signals and alleviate the symptoms. 

 

Conclusion

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic condition. While research has improved the chances of a seemingly normal life for patients, the efficacy of the medicines goes down as the years progress. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle help to keep the disease under control for longer. 

Author Name
Neha Jaswal

Published Date
: 14-Jun-2021

Neha Jaswal is a researcher and writer at Vaidam Health. Being a fitness freak, she loves to pen down about health and fitness. 
A writer by day and a reader by night, she likes to expand her pensive thoughts health, travel strategies.

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