Parkinsons Disease is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system that control both movement and speech. It is a degenerating illness that robs people of all ages of the ability to control their physical movements as well as their speech. Recent drugs have show promise in treating Parkinson’s Disease, in particular, Levodopa. Early treatment of the disease with drug therapy as well as physiotherapy is crucial relieving the devastating symptoms of this disease. Despite the promise of Levodopa, no treatment is yet effective in halting the degeneration of Parkinson’s Disease.
One of the first symptoms of Parkinsons disease is involuntary movement and slurred speech. A person with Parkinson’s will usually present with a variety of these symptoms at which time a neurologist will run a series of tests to determine the cause. When diagnosed with Parkinson’s a patient will most likely be prescribed dopamine at first. The disease progresses slowly and within one to five years, it will be necessary to add Levodopa. If a person is over the age of 50, chances are they will be prescribed Levodopa at first instead of at last.
As mobility is affected, stimulation of the limbs and trunk are crucial parts of treatment and is undertaken by a licensed physiotherapist. Physiotherapy for Parkinsons Disease involves regular exercise at the onset of the disease. This can add good muscle tone and eliminate excess weight, which may make treatment at the later stages of the disease more difficult. Early involvement of physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Disease is crucial and a team of doctors and therapists should be working together to devise the best treatments, determined by the stage of the disease and the age of the patient, to allow the patient to live a longer and more productive life.
As the disease progresses, physiotherapists will work with the patient to improve gait and movement as well as help them to retain balance. One way physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Disease works is to break down movements so they are less rapid and easier to manage. Speech therapy is also often necessary for patients with Parkinson’s Disease and can prove very beneficial in improving speech delivery. It is also important for swallowing difficulties to be addressed and treated early on in the disease.
In addition to medications and physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Disease, diet is also an important factor. Diets should include more protein and meals should be easier to swallow.
Counseling also plays a big role in treating patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Those who develop this disease often experience depression and dementia. Parkinson’s Disease affects the neurons in the brain that not only control the central nervous system, but also the thought process. In many cases, psychosis develops in patients and can be triggered by an illness or change in environment.
Parkinson’s Disease is one of the most devastating diseases we face today. This slow moving, degenerative illness robs people of their livelihood, often in the prime of their life. It takes no prisoners and there is no cure. Physiotherapy for Parkinson’s Disease can help alleviate the symptoms and strengthen the body, but as of yet, there is no way to halt the progress of this devastating illness.