Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder of the brain that occurs as the result of insufficient quantities of the neurotransmitter dopamine in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra helps in the planning and programming of movement. A neurotransmitter is a chemical substance that is released from the ends of neurones (nerve cells) to communicate with one or several other neurones. Dopamine levels are reduced as the neurones that produce dopamine die. As a result, messages concerning the planning and programming of movement are interrupted.
The distinctive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
Tremors: Many people with Parkinson’s disease develop tremors that are most prominent in the hands and fingers. These tend to occur when the limbs are relaxed, disappearing when performing tasks such as drinking or eating. About 30% of people with Parkinson’s disease never develop a tremor.
Stiffness: This is a common early sign of Parkinson’s disease and is most obvious in the arms, shoulder or neck, although it can occur in all muscle groups. People may have difficulty getting out of a chair, turning or rolling over in bed, or walking. Fine finger movements such as tying a shoelace may also be difficult. Pain or a deep aching sensation in the muscles may also be felt.
Bradykinesia: This means slowness of movement and is a disabling and frustrating symptom of Parkinson’s disease. People have difficulty initiating movement and movement may be slow. There may also be a lack of coordination when moving and normal activities can prove difficult. Activities once performed quickly and comfortably, such as washing or dressing, may take several hours if not assisted. Bradykinesia can also make the face seem flat or expressionless.
Loss of Balance: This is a symptom that tends to develop later in Parkinson’s disease. Because of impaired balance and co-ordination, a person with Parkinson’s disease can develop a forward or backward lean. They may start to walk with small steps. Falls are common.
Other symptoms include: Skin sensations and pain, constipation, fatigue, altered speech (may be slurred and slow), difficulty writing, numbness, walking difficulty, dementia (memory loss), decreased blinking, increased saliva production and emotional changes.
In approximately 15% of Parkinson’s patients there is a family history. It is not known if this is due to a shared, defective gene, environmental factors, or both. A defective gene has been identified in a rare, early-onset form of Parkinson’s disease.
One theory is that in some individuals, for some unknown reason, the normal, age-related death of the neurones that produce dopamine is accelerated.
Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, so treatment focuses on managing symptoms. Bio-Touch has been shown to ease those symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. While not a substitute for standard medical care, Bio-Touch is an effective complement to medical protocols. Family members and friends can learn how to help each other feel better using Bio-Touch, without being concerned about negative side effects.