50,000 new cases of this chronic condition are diagnosed each year, there is currently no cure for it, and an exact cause has not yet been pinpointed. What is this disease and what do we know about it?
We are going to shine the spotlight on Parkinson's disease (PD): sharing what it is, giving you some relatively unknown facts about it, highlighting some of the recent developments surrounding it, and sharing some helpful aids for those with PD.
What is Parkinson's Disease
According to MedicineNet.com, Parkinson's disease is a neurological disease that develops and progresses slowly and has the characteristics of a fixed expressionless face, body tremors even while at rest, slow and awkward voluntary movement, muscle weakness, and low production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter.
Little Known Parkinson's Facts
- While an exact cause of PD has not been determined, there are a few culprits under investigation: viral infection, exposure to environmental toxins such as carbon monoxide and pesticides, drug use, and adverse reactions to prescribed medications, according to eCaring.com.
- There are no standard blood or lab tests that conclusively indicate Parkinson's disease. Symptoms are evaluated and testing is done to rule out other diseases to diagnose PD.
- There is a gender bias. Men are 50 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's than women.
- PD usually strikes at later ages (usually over age 50) but the youngest person currently diagnosed is a 12-year-old and the youngest ever diagnosed was a three-year-old boy in 1875.
- Unlike many diseases in which the patients all have the same symptoms, with Parkinson's disease no two people have the exact same indicators of this condition, according to one woman with PD named Allison, who blogs at parkinsonsinbalance.net.
- Allison writes that PD can also completely paralyze your digestive system.
- There is no cure for PD, but Everday Health says there are medicinal treatment options.
Recent PD Developments
- The American Academy of Neurology medical journal reports that a newly developed blood test to diagnose Parkinson's may soon be on the way.
- Studies are being done on a drug used to treat leukemia as a treatment for PD. Nilotinib was found to have helped slow the brain damage caused by Parkinson's in a handful of patients.
- A University of Leicester research study indicates that a medication used to treat bowel cancer may be able to protect the neurons of patients with early onset Parkinson's.
Tremors, muscle weakness, and voluntary movement issues often make daily living activities difficult for people with PD. Below we share some aids that can help ease the challenge and discomforts of some of these activities.
Weighted pens, pencils, and handwriting gloves can help steady your writing hand, allowing you to write checks, make lists, sign documents, etc. with ease.
Eating can be a more relaxed and enjoyable time, with the use of weighted cups, bowls, and utensils to reduce hand tremors.
Dressing aids such as zipper rings and pulls, two handled sock aids, and dressing sticks with attached shoe horns, can make getting dressed in the mornings less challenging and time consuming.
We hope that the information that we have shared with you has educated you, intrigued you, and/or provided you with awareness of a product that can help ease the challenges of Parkinson's.
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