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Parkinsons Disease Step By Step

You have been recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or someone you know has just been given the diagnosis. You want to find out all you can about the disease so you know what to expect in the future. Here is a step-by-step explanation of what Parkinson's disease is, what the symptoms and treatments are and other important facts.

Parkinson's disease may start out as some mild tremors in one hand or foot and then other symptoms are noticed such as a slowing of movement or freezing of motion such as arms that remain still by your side as you walk instead of swinging. The individual's face may show no emotion and look like a still mask. You may shuffle as you walk or trip over nothing at all. Your voice may become softer and you mumble when you speak. As the disease progresses these symptoms will intensify.

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease; the disease is chronic which means long-term. You do not recuperate from this disease. Once you have Parkinson's you always have it, in fact the disease will progress and the symptoms will worsen.

There are many medicines and other treatments that can ease some of the symptoms. Other treatments are physical therapy and speech therapy, eating a healthy diet in smaller portions more frequently, getting regular exercise for periods of 15 to 20 minutes at a time and sometimes when symptoms worsen and there are no other medications or therapies that will help, the doctor may recommend surgery.

There are various symptoms for Parkinson's disease. Not all symptoms may be experienced. Typically the symptoms will start out as mild and as the disease progresses the symptoms become more pronounced, noticeable, and even more disruptive of your life. Tremors are usually the first symptom that you will notice. Bradykinesia is when you experience a reduced ability to initiate a voluntary movement such as taking a step. Muscle stiffness or rigidity of muscles is another symptom that can severely limit movement and range of motion. A person may become stooped as a result of impaired posture and balance. When this occurs a person can have difficulty swallowing or breathing. Experiencing imbalance is also quite common, especially in the later stages of Parkinson's disease. Automatic movements such as blinking, smiling, and swinging your arms as you walk are all things that we do without thinking about them, they become a normal part of what we do. Some Parkinson's patients develop a fixed stare, are unable to swing their arms while walking, and have unblinking eyes. Those who may have in the past gestured with great animation while speaking may have limbs that stay still at their sides while talking or walking.

There are also changes in your speech when you have Parkinson's disease. You will talk more softly, may speak rapidly, use a monotone, start to have slurring of speech, or repeat words. You may also hesitate while speaking or mumble.

When a person is in the later stages of Parkinson's disease he/she may experience dementia with loss of memory or mental clarity. The drugs used to treat Alzheimer's patients may alleviate some of the symptoms of dementia or lessen their severity. There are other drugs used to treat the symptoms. Speech therapy and physical therapy may also help the person to gain back some control over movement and speech. Exercise and diet are also part of the treatment plan.





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