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Parkinson’s disease

Homeopathy Treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease, also called paralysis agitans or shaking palsy is a movement disorder. Cases of PD are reported at all ages, though it is uncommon in people younger than 40.

This disease is more common among men and usually occurs after 60 years.

The average age at which symptoms begin in the USA. is 58-60.

The nerve cells in the part of the brain which control movements are mainly affected. The nerve cells (neurons) which make the chemical called dopamine either don’t work sufficiently or are completely destroyed. The real cause behind this had never been identified. Though, many risk factors have been enumerated in literature.

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Symptoms:

Persons suffering from Parkinson’s disease need not present with every common symptom. The number of symptoms and their intensities are known to vary with every individual. Most common signs & symptoms of Parkinson’s include:

  • Tremors felt in the fingers, hands, arms, legs, jaw and face. Initially these tremors are mild and visible only while resting. Eventually they become visible even during routine movements.
  • Rigidity is another symptom. Persons suffering often feel stiffness or inflexibility in their muscles. Muscles normally stretch when they move, and then relax when they are at rest. In rigidity, the muscle tone of an affected limb is always stiff and does not relax, sometimes resulting in a decreased range of motion.
    Muscular movements like walking, running, dancing, sitting, grasping objects with fingers all seem very stiff. Rigidity can cause pain and cramping. The sense of fluidity in these movements is lost. In advanced conditions, even the facial muscles become very rigid, thus giving an appearance of an expressionless face, something akin to wearing a mask.
  • Bradykinesia or slowness of movements usually accompanies the sensation of stiffness and rigidity. A person with bradykinesia will probably also have incomplete movements, difficulty initiating movements and sudden stopping of ongoing movement.
    There is increasing inability to perform tasks which require rapid alternating movements.
  • Loss of balance and in coordination of movements results in frequent falls when beginning to walk or run.
  • Gait: There is a ‘shuffling’ gait characterized by short steps, with feet barely leaving the ground, producing an audible shuffling noise. Small obstacles tend to trip the patient.
  • Decreased arm swing.Turning ‘en-bloc’, rather than the usual twisting of the neck and trunk and pivoting on the toes, PD patients keep their neck and upper body rigid, requiring multiple small steps to accomplish a turn. Stooped, forward-flexed posture both when sitting and standing. Festination: a combination of stooped posture, imbalance, and short steps. It leads to a gait that gets progressively faster and faster, often ending in a fall.
  • Dystonia: abnormal, sustained, painful twisting muscle contractions, usually affecting the foot and ankle, interfering with gait. However, dystonia can be quite generalized, involving a majority of skeletal muscles; such episodes are very painful and completely disabling.
    They may go through periods of "freezing", which is when a person feels stuck to the ground and finds it difficult to start walking. The slowness and incompleteness of movement can also affect speaking and swallowing.
    • Speech: the voice becomes very soft. Later, the sound turns hoarse and monotonous. Occasionaly, the speech becomes excessively rapid, soft, and poorly-intelligible.
      Gradual progress in the disorder causes an inability to understand the meaning & essence of speech. Also, there is difficulty in deciphering the facial expressions seen on others when conversing.
    • Drooling: Weak swallowing and stooped posture causes drooling of saliva.

Uploaded ImageMore symptoms;

  • Small, cramped handwriting (micrographia)
  • Dementia and confusion
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Slow thinking & memory problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Fatigue and body aches
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Loss of energy
  • Sleep disturbances: excessive daytime sleepiness; insomnia; vivid, disturbing dreams.

These symptoms certainly vary in intensities in different persons. They are seen as the disease progresses and everyone do not suffer from all of them.

Pathogenesis:

We now know that many of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease develop when certain nerve cells (neurons) in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra are damaged or destroyed. Normally, these nerve cells release dopamine — a chemical that transmits signals between the substantia nigra and another part of the brain, the corpus striatum. These signals cause your muscles to make smooth, controlled movements.

As a normal part of aging everyone loses some dopamine-producing neurons.

People with Parkinson's disease lose half or more of neurons in the substantia nigra. Although other brain cells also degenerate, the dopamine-containing cells are critical for movement and so their damage takes center stage.

Causes 

Why Parkinson's Disease occurs, no one knows. These are some factors that scientists believe predisposes individuals to PD.

  • Genetic factors: About 15 to 25 percent of people with Parkinson's report having a relative with the disease. This means that if your parent has Parkinson's, your chances of developing the disease are slightly higher than the risk in the general population.
  • Studies have revealed that there may be more of a genetic basis to young-onset PD (that is, the 10 percent or so of people with Parkinson's for whom onset occurs at or before age 50) than to later-onset PD.
  • The vast majority of Parkinson's cases are not directly inherited, but researchers have discovered several genes that can cause the disease in a small number of families. Genetic diseases occur when important genes contain mutations, which result in abnormal proteins that in turn cause disease.
  • Environmental factors: Scientists have suggested that Parkinson's disease may result from exposure to an environmental toxin or injury. Research has identified several factors that may be linked to PD, including rural living, well water, herbicide use and exposure to pesticides. Pesticides are thought to adversely affect the brain by inhibiting energy production resulting in brain cell death.
    Studies have also shown that smoking and caffeine use appear to protect against the development of PD. However, it is universally agreed that the health risks associated with smoking are worse than any incidental benefits that might be gained by this habit.
    Also, a synthetic narcotic agent called MPTP can cause immediate and permanent Parkinsonism if injected.
  • Head trauma: Past episodes of head trauma are reported more frequently by sufferers than by others in the population.
  • Drug induced: Antipsychotics, which are used to treat schizophrenia and psychosis, can induce the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (or parkinsonism) by lowering dopaminergic activity.

Diagnosis:

Currently no blood or laboratory tests that have been proven to help in diagnosing PD. It is difficult to diagnose PD accurately. Thus, medical history and a neurological examination alone guide the physician in diagnosing.

The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) is a rating scale used to follow the longitudinal course of Parkinson's disease.

Related conditions: There are a number of disorders that mimic Parkinson’s disease in some of their symptoms. On close examination though, they are distinguisale from the idiopathic PD. These conditions fortunately have additional symptoms which do not occur in PD.Such disorders need to be ruled out before establishing a diagnosis of PD.

  • Multiple System Atrophy(MSA)
    • Cerebellar ataxia
    • pyramidal weakness
    • autonomic failure (previously known as Shy-Drager syndrome)
    • nocturnal stridor
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy(PSP)
    • failure of voluntary vertical eye movements
    • early dementia
  • Corticobasal degeneration(CBD)
    • cognitive impairment
    • apraxia
    • myoclonus
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies(DLB)
    • early cognitive impairment
    • hallucinations
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy(OPCA)
    • ataxia
    • dysarthria
  • Wilson’s Disease
  • Torsion dystonia

These Parkinson-plus syndromes are usually more rapidly progressive and less likely to respond to anti-parkinsonian medication than Parkinson's disease. However, the additional features of the diseases may respond to medications not used in Parkinson's disease.

Treatment options for Parkinsons Disease

Conventional treatment.

There is no permanent cure for PD. Though many patients show dramatic response to medications initially, with gradual progress, the benefits of drugs diminish.

Treatment usually comprises of: -

  • Medications
  • Councelling
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

     HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINE

  • Causticum: Causticum is the top natural medicine for treating Parkinson’s Disease. It is ideal for patients with excessive rigidity. The muscles get hardened, leading to extreme body stiffness. The muscles of lower limbs and back are very rigid too. Such patients have great difficulty in maintaining balance while walking. They walk slowly but have a tendency to fall easily. Another marked feature for the use of Causticum in patients of Parkinson’s Disease is great difficulty in getting up from a sitting or lying position. The patient may also experience pain in the limbs and get relief from warm applications. The trembling of hands is a very dominant symptom.
  • Gelsemium Sempervirens:Gelsemium Sempervirens can be considered as the top natural treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. It shows wonderful effects in treating diseases of nervous origin. Gelsemium Sempervirens is of great help for nervous and sensitive patients who get excited very easily from a sudden fear or emotions. The patients experience vigorous shaking of hands or the shaking of legs or tongue. This shaking is accompanied by excessive weakness and the condition gets worse by sudden mental excitemen
  • Plumbum Metallicum: Plumbum Metallicum is a very beneficial natural medicine for patients of Parkinson’s Disease with marked Bradykinesia or slowness in movement. In such patients, the body muscles work at a very slow pace and in a very sluggish manner. The patient does all the work at a very slow speed. The slowness is always accompanied by wasting or emaciation of the affected muscles. Slowness is also noted in the mind.
  • Mercurius Solubilis Mercurius Solubilis is a natural medicine of great help for patients of Parkinson’s Disease with vigorous trembling of hands. The shaking of hands is present to an extreme degree. The drooling of saliva from the mouth in patients of Parkinson’s Disease can be wonderfully controlled with medicine Mercurius Solubilis. Trembling of the tongue with difficulty in talking may also be noticed. It is accompanied by an offensive odor emanating from the mouth. There is a general worsening of symptoms at night. 
  • Zincum Metallicum: Another natural medicine for treating Parkinson’s Disease is Zincum Metallicum. This medicine is recommended for treating the tremors of hand. It provides strength to the weakened nerves and one major indication for its use is the constant movement of feet.
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