4 Things You Did Not Know About Parkinson’s Disease

When we were young, there was this man in the village whom we believed to be cursed. His name was Maritei and he had a severe tremor on his hands such that whenever we saw him, we would hide and no child would ever greet him, leave alone shake his trembling hand.

One of the older boys told us that Maritei was not cursed but had touched a lizard and therefore developed the tremors. We feared lizards from then on and no child in their right mind would willingly touch a lizard. Even if a lizard crawled its way into your plate of food, you would rather scare it from afar rather than touch it.

1.Parkinson’s causes tremors

It is only recently when I was studying Physiotherapy that I came to learn that what Maritei had was Parkinson’s disease. He had not touched a lizard or gotten cursed. No, he just had Parkinson’s disease which is a neural disorder where neurons responsible for production of dopamine chemical stop functioning and this affects your motor skills.

Due to the tremors, Parkinson’s patients have trouble eating or drinking since all the food in a spoon ends up being spilled. Unless one has a smart Parkinson’s spoon, they will have to depend on the caregiver to feed them.

2. Parkinson’s has no known cure

Unfortunately, Parkinson’s has no known cure. Once you get it, there is nothing you can do about it but live with it. Fortunately, there are some medications that help alleviate the symptoms such as levodopa and Sinemet. With time though, these medications also stop working.

3. Weighted Garments help alleviate anxiety

Wearing or covering a PD patient with weighted garments has been found to relieve them off anxiety. PD patients are ever anxious and this has been linked to the alteration in the chemical composition of their brains once dopamine production goes on a down low. In a study involving patients having their wisdom teeth being removed, a few were covered with weighted blankets while the others were not. Those who were covered with the weighted blankets showed more resilience, less pain and stress as compared to those who did not have the weighted blankets covering them.

4. Muhammad Ali and Janet Reno had Parkinson

 

Famous people who have had Parkinson’s disease include the late award-winning boxer Muhammad Ali and former US Attorney General Janet Reno. Muhammad Ali, it was said got the disease after he sustained so many punches on his head.

5. Parkinson’s mostly affects white males above 60 years

Parkinson’s affects males more than females. It is frequent in whites as compared to Africans or Asians. It is also more frequent in elderly people as compared to younger ones. However, someone like Michael J.Fox, once an acclaimed film personality was diagnosed as having PD at 29 years.

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Written by Kelvin James

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