What is Parkinson’s disease (PD)?

May 17, 2021
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April 1, 2024

What is Parkinson’s disease (PD)?

  • PD is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.
  • Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder alsocommonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

What are the sign & symptoms in PD?

  • Tremor: A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremble when it’s at rest.
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia): Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
  • Rigid muscles: Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
  • Impaired posture and balance: Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Loss of automatic movements: You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
  • Speech changes: You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than have the usual inflections.
  • Writing changes: It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.

How to manage daily routine activities in PD?

  • House floor should be stable with non-skid surfaces. Use smooth carpet & rugs to create a safe walking surface & prevent fall.
  • Use bed poll to help with rolling & getting up, install grab bar near the toilet, tub and shower.
  • Store commonly used items in easily accessible drawers to avoid the need to reach or bend over to find them.
  • Place items used for cooking such as spices, pots and pan near to stove, to avoid reaching over to stove and which may cause burn.
  • Sit down while dressing. Choose a chair with firm support & arm. Sitting on edges of bed to dress can lead to loss of balance & fall.

What are the ways to handle emotional well-being in PD

  • Take a deep look at the positive aspects-family, friends or a new or favorite hobby-of your life and nurture them.
  • Build a network. Have people to emotionally support you and those who can help with basic needs, such as transportation, meal preparation etc.
  • Healthy behaviors, including attention to diet and regular moderate exercise can improve emotional well-being.
  • Having a pet dog or cat may improve your emotional health.
  • Massage therapy can reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.

What are the tips to manage diet in PD patients?

  • Avoid “fad” diets.
  • Choosing a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits, which provide proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibre and complex carbohydrates will help to maintain good health.
  • Limit sugar intake as they have too many calories and too few nutrients. Reduce salt and sodium intake to help decrease the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Incorporating foods high in antioxidants into diet may help to improve overall brain health.
  • Choosing a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol may help to reduce risk of heart disease and help to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Drinking enough water and eating fibre-rich foods may ease digestive difficulties and constipation.

How Patient can improve & maintain a speech?

  • Speak slowly
  • Look at the person while you are talking
  • Use short phrases. Say one or two words or syllables per breath.
  • Over-articulate your speech by prolonging the vowels and exaggerating the consonants.
  • Choose a comfortable posture and position that provide support during long and stressful conversations.
  • Plan periods of vocal rest before planned conversations or phone calls.

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