New Delhi: Parkinson’s disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement and progresses slowly in most people. The disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine.
Parkinson’s disease, also known as PD, can make a person seriously ill to an extent that he/she may go through excruciating pain every day. On April 11, every year, World Parkinson’s Day is observed across the globe to increase public awareness about the disease. The day also marks the birthday of James Parkinson, a London based physician, who first described the disease.
The cause of the disease is unknown and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options like medication and surgery that come to the rescue and to an extent, keep a check on it and manage its symptoms.
It is estimated that about 30 million people in India suffer from various forms of neurological diseases and the average prevalence rate is as high as 2,394 patients per 1,00,000 of the population, reportedly.
Here are a few early warning signs of the disease:
- Tremor or shaking in your fingers, hands, arms, legs, jaw and face.
- Slowed movement – over time the condition may reduce your movement ability such as slowing down your pace, difficulty rising from a chair or a sitting position.
- Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk.
- Decreased facial expression, monotonous speech, and decreased eye blinking.
- Muscle stiffness in any part of the body.
- Writing changes such as letter sizes are smaller and the words are crowded together.
- Loss of smell
- Dizziness or fainting
- Poor body balance and coordination
- Swallowing problems in later stages.
A report published in The Lancet in 2015 by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project, claimed that neurological diseases comprised 16.8 percent of global deaths.