Our brain controls body functions and movements by sending our body parts a message. The messenger is the nerves, and they carry chemicals called neurotransmitters. One such neurotransmitter which is responsible for controlling speed and planning of movements is called dopamine, which is produced in our brain stem. When there is a 70-80% reduction in production of dopamine, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease begin.
- Though Parkinson’s is not hereditary per se, but if someone in your family had it, you have a 10-15% higher chance of contracting it.
- Though it can affect you at any age, generally people above the age of 60 are affected.
- It is NOT life-threatening, however there is no cure for it yet.
- Affects men more than women
- In India, about 60 Lakh people are affected by this currently, with the Parsi community highest at risk
- Exposure to Pesticides increases the chance of contracting Parkinson’s Disease
How do we detect it at home?
There are some early signs we should be aware of, if diagnosed at early stage, with proper medication, many symptoms of Parkinson’s can be delayed for quite a few years:
- Tremor in hands, fingers, chin etc while resting
- Handwriting becomes smaller
- Loss of Smell
- Trouble Sleeping Properly
- Trouble Walking – Feet get stuck to the floor, or a stiffness in shoulders or hips
- Change in voice – becomes soft or low
- Face looks serious or depressed at all time, also called masked face
- Dizziness or Fainting
- Stooping or Hunching Over
How to Avoid Parkinson’s Disease
There is no perfect formula, but the intake of following has been known to reduce Parkinson’s
- Intake of Coffee
- Anti-Inflammatory Medicines – examples Brufen, Combiflam, Unafen
- Higher Vitamin D
- Exercising – ElderEase has a variety of products (Please click link for more Info) which can help you to exercise even with physical constraints.
How to Tackle Parkinson’s Disease
- Consult a Neurologist
- Regular exercise, using a special walker called U-Step Walker, which tackles the mobility issues associated with Parkinson’s Disease such as
- Speed of Walking
- Difficulty in turning while walking
- Legs getting stuck
- Fear of falls while walking
- Talking with family and friends and getting support