Friday, November 17, 2006

PARKINSON’S DISEASE – very common among the older age group! What is it?

PARKINSON’S DISEASE is a progressive degenerative disorder, mostly affecting the older people.

Why is PARKINSON’S DISEASE called so?
James Parkinson first described it in 1817.

What are the causes for PARKINSON’S DISEASE, a very common ailment?
Well most of the times it is idiopathic (i.e. the reason is unknown). But other causes may be trauma, toxic agents, drugs (dopamine antagonists)

What are the clinical features of PARKINSON’S DISEASE ? How does it present itself?

· Diminished facial _expression
· Stooped posture
· Slowness of voluntary movement
· Festinating gait (progressively shortened, accelerated steps)
· Rigidity
· “Pill rolling” movements of the fingers
· Tremors
· Dementia may also occur

If untreated the symptoms progress over several years to end stage disease in which the patient is so rigid that he is unable to move, unable to breathe properly; succumbs mostly to chest infections/ embolism.


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