Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological disease . Smooth and coordinated muscle movements of the body are made possible by a substance in the brain called dopamine.
Dopamine is produced in a part of the brain called substantia nigra.In Parkinson’s ,the cells of substantia nigra start to die ,when this happens dopamine levels are reduced and symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease starts to appear.
Parkinson’s Disease symptoms start to appear gradually .They often start with a slight tremor in one hand and a feeling of stiffness in the body
Symptoms appear at the age of 60 yrs or more ,but when it develops before the age of 50 yrs ,it is called as Early onset Parkinson’s Disease.
Some important sign and symptoms are as follows –
• Movement –
There may be a tremor in the hands .
• Co-ordination –
A reduced sense of co-ordination and balance can cause people to drop items they are holding.
• Gait –
The person’s posture may change so that they lean forward slightly.
• Facial Expression –
Facial expression can become fixed ,due to changes in the nerves that controls facial muscles.
• Voice –
There may be a tremor in the your voice.
• Hand writing –
It may become more cramped and smaller.
• Sense of smell –
A lose of sense of smell is also a early sign.
• Sleep problems –
The person can’t sleep properly including restless legs.
Low level of dopamine and norepinephrine ,a substance that regulates dopamine are the specific causes of Parkinson’s Disease.
Risk factors –
• Sex –
Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s than women.
• Race –
Whites are more likely to develop this disease then Africans American or Asians.
• Age –
It appears usually between the ages of 50 and 60 .In 5-10% of cases it happens in before age of 40.
• Toxins –
Exposure to certain toxins like pesticides, herbicides increases the risk of being prone to Parkinson’s Disease.
• Head injury –
Head injuries also likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease.
It is a progressive disease ,that means symptoms of the conditions typically worsen overtime. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are divided into five stages to help health care providers to understand the advancement of disease.
• Stage 1 –
It is at the mildest form at stage 1. It’s so mild ,that no symptoms are noticeable here. They may not interfere with your daily life and tasks. If you have the symptoms ,they may be isolated to one side of your body.
• Stage 2 –
The progression from stage 1 to stage 2 can take months or even years . At this moderate stage ,you may experience symptoms such as – muscle stiffness , tremors ,change in facial expression, trembling .
At this stage you are unlikely to experience balance problems. Symptoms may appear on both sides of the body .Changes in posture ,gait and facial expressions may be more noticeable.
• Stage 3 –
At this stage new symptoms are likely to appear .They may also interfere with all your daily tasks. Movement becomes more slower , balance issues becomes more significant ,but at this stage also people can maintain their independence and complete activities without much assistance.
• Stage 4 –
At this stage , patient will experience more difficulty in standing without a walker or assistant device. Reaction and muscle movements becomes more slow significantly and it’s very hard for the patient to manage living alone.
• Stage 5 –
In this stage ,severe symptoms make around the clock assistance a necessity. It will be difficult to stand ,a wheelchair will likely to be required. Patient experience confusion , delusions and hallucinations.
There is no specific test for its diagnosis . Diagnosis is made based on health history ,a physical and neurological examination.
• Mood changes including depression and emotional changes.
• Difficulty chewing and swallowing
• Skin problems
• Sexual dysfunction
• Thinking difficulties
• Sleep disorders
• Unable to control urine or having difficulty in urination.
It’s not possible to prevent Parkinson’s but research has shown that some lifelong habits may help to reduce the risk.
• Turmeric –
This spice contains curcumin ,an antioxidant ingredient. It may help to prevent the clumping of protein involved in Parkinson’s.
• Flavonoids –
Flavonoids present in berries ,apples ,some vegetables , green tea and red grapes ,may lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s.
• Avoiding reheated cooking oils –
Scientists have linked toxic chemical known as aldehydes to Parkinson’s , Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers. Heating certain oils such as sunflower oil- to a certain temperature and then using them again can cause aldehyde to occur in those oils.
• Avoiding Toxins –
Exposure to herbicides , pesticides and other toxins may increase the risk of Parkinson’s ,so people should take precautions while using them.
It can’t be cured ,but medications can help control your symptoms often dramatically . Adequate rest , exercise and balanced diet is also vry important. Speech , occupational and physical therapy can also help to improve communication and self care.
Medications commonly used –
• Levodopa – Most popular and effective medicine.
• Dopamine agonists like bromocriptine, pramipexole
• Anticholinergics like benztrophine
• COMT inhibitors
• MAO B inhibitors
Surgical procedures –
• Deep brain stimulation
• Pump delivered Therapy
Ayurvedic Perspective –
In Ayurveda it is known as Kampavata .This condition appears because of Imbalance of Vata Dosha. Due to aggravation vata dosha increases its presence in brain. This aggravated air is formed as a result of poor digestion leading to disturbance of the stomach and the stomach then sends aggravated unhealthy air to the brain .This aggravated air attacks and corrodes the area of the brain that controls involuntary movements .This corrosive effect on that area of the brain results Parkinson’s disease.The process of healing is accelerated by strictly following diet , abstinence from intoxicants and undesirable life practices.
Line of treatment –
• Shodhan chikitsa –
1) Internal Snehana by taking medicated ghrita or simply cow’s ghee daily.
2) External snehana called as Abhayanga with Bala taila ,ksheerabala taila , Mahanarayan taila
*Basti karma – It is best vatashamak procedure done in 2 ways –
1) Matra basti for 8-14 days
2) Yapana basti on 8/16/30 day
*Nasya karma –
* Shirovasti –
*Sarvanga sweda- such as patra potli Sweda
• Shaman chikitsa –
*Some very effective herbs –
• Kapikacchu (Kaunch beej) – Famous as Ayurvedic Levodopa
• Brahmi –
• Gingko biloba –
* Ayurvedic Medications –
• Brahma Rasayan
• Kaunch beej
• Rasraj Ras
• Vrihatvatchintamani Ras
• Rason ksheerpaka
• Brahmi vati
* Yoga & Meditation –
• Pranayam –
• Tadasan –
• Utaanasan –
• Virbhadraasan –
With help of all above Shodhan and shaman chikitsa one can get rid of Parkinson’s disease to a larger extent.
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