Parkinson’s Disease – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Pathology

Dealing With Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that is experienced by 1 person out of 1000 in the general public. Most cases of this disease involve adults over the age of 40 and the symptoms usually are at their height over the age of 55. There is, however, a form of this disease that does happen in teenagers. Here we will take a look at Parkinson’s disease and facts to consider.

What Is PD?

In the simplest terms, Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disorder that affects bodily movement. Being progressive means that for most patients the condition will get worse with each passing year. At present, it is not known what causes this condition and there is no cure for it. There are treatments that have shown themselves as effective to varying degrees depending on the patient. Included in those options are surgery and medication.

This condition leads to certain types of nerve cells in the brain dying. These nerve cells are known as neurons and these cells are used by the brain to promote dopamine which in part, helps to control coordination and movement. Once dopamine is not being produced at a normal rate, then the person begins to be unable to control certain types of movement.

Those who suffer from this disease will begin to experience stiffness in their arms and legs and reduced coordination. Many will also have uncontrollable tremors in their face, arms, hands, and in their legs.

More Symptoms That Are Common With Parkinson’s Disease

Those with this disease can often have their sleep disturbed. They may find that they wake much earlier in the morning than they would like and they may experience terrifying nightmares. Many of the patients will have very restless sleep and a number of sleep disturbances. This disease causes the body to experience a great deal of fatigue and the combination of these things can lead to other problems such as amnesia and difficulty with understanding others or being unable to think clearly.

Because of the spasms that are related to this disease, some patients will find that there are times where they can’t speak correctly because their voice box is experiencing spasms. Some will have urine that leaks and many will have regular constipation.

Risk Factors

At this time it is not understood the exact cause of this disease. But there are certain risk factors related to this condition. The younger a person is the less likely they will experience PD. The majority of cases occur in people over the age of 40. The highest percentage of people who develop this disease are over the age of 60.

If anyone in your family has had Parkinson’s disease, then it means that you have a higher risk factor than those who do not have anyone in their family that has had the disease. If there’s only one person known to you in your family that has had this disease, then the chance of you getting it is still very small. The chance of getting it is only significant if there are more than one family members who have had PD.

The majority of people with Parkinson’s disease are men, and women are significantly less likely to get this disease. There is some evidence to suggest that men who are exposed to pesticides and herbicides are at a greater risk than those who have not.

Managing Patients With Parkinson’s Disease At A Dental Appointment

One of the situations that is often overlooked is how to manage someone with Parkinson’s disease when they go to a dental appointment. Because these individuals suffer from uncontrollable tremors, then it will be necessary for the dentist to understand exactly how to carry out dental procedures with the risk of sudden and uncontrollable tremors.

This disease leads to a number of difficulties for the person who is suffering from the disease in the care of their teeth. Patients who suffer from this condition may find it difficult to brush their teeth because of the uncontrollable tremors. This disease causes memory loss and the inability to think clearly and this can mean that the patient forgets to brush their teeth. It also causes a feeling of burning in the mouth which can then spur the patient into seeking dental assistants.

A dentist will need to assist the patient in determining how they can manage their oral care. The patient will have muscle rigidity along with the tremors mentioned above that all lead to the likelihood of poor oral hygiene. The dentist should recommend tools to help the patient to get a better result. Aspirating or electric toothbrushes along with fluoride rinses that have higher concentrations of fluoride are some of the things that dentist might recommend.

PD is a disease that will likely require the sufferer to have family assistance at home. It can be managed and family members should seek professional advice. Treatments are available and are improving.

Canadian research links