"Knowledge is the correct understanding of information."
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease. Neurodegenerative means that it is a usually incurable disease that leads to the death of nerve cells of the central nervous system.
James Parkinson first described the leading symptoms of the disease in 1817, giving it its name.
frequency and distribution
Depending on the source, between 200,000 and 400,000 people are affected by Parkinson's syndrome throughout Germany; there are no concrete figures. The tendency is increasing. Most often, people around the age of 60 fall ill, but even young people can be affected by the disease. 5-10% of those affected fall ill before the age of 40.
Parkinson's disease is multifaceted and runs a very individual course. The most common form is idiopathic Parkinson's syndrome (IPS for short). Idiopathic means that the cause is unknown. Syndrome refers to the combination of several symptoms that result in a characteristic clinical picture.
In addition, there are also secondary Parkinson syndromes, which are caused, for example, by drugs or other diseases, and so-called atypical Parkinson syndromes, which usually progress much faster.
The following information refers mainly to idiopathic Parkinson's syndrome.
There are four leading symptoms in Parkinson's disease:
- Stiffness of muscles (rigor)
- Slowing down of movements (bradykinesis)
- Insufficient or absent balance control (postural instability)
In addition, numerous other non-motor symptoms can also occur, such as:
- speech and swallowing disorders
- the freezing of movements
- vegetative disorders (e.g. problems with blood pressure regulation)
- sleeping disorders
- mental impairments
In Parkinson's disease, dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain in particular die. Dopamine is an important messenger substance that is responsible for controlling movement processes in the body. But dopamine is also important for mood and for controlling vegetative functions. This also explains the many symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Despite intensive research, the cause of the massive death of nerve cells is still unknown. It is suspected that there is an interaction of several factors, such as environmental influences, pesticides, heavy metals or even nutrients. However, through intensive research, the understanding of the disease has multiplied in recent years and so hopes are rising for new therapeutic methods that help to delay or even stop the progression of the disease. However, curing the disease by replacing the dead nerve cells with new ones is still a long way off. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Since the cause is not known, therapy cannot yet be used to treat the cause. Thus, Parkinson's disease is currently not yet considered curable.
But there are multiple treatment options that aim to alleviate the symptoms of the disease and slow its progression.
Drug therapy, e.g., with dopamine substitutes or substances that inhibit the breakdown of dopamine,
physical therapy to help maintain or improve mobility.
occupational therapy, which assists, for example, in coping with everyday life and in strengthening concentration and memory performance
surgical procedures, such as deep brain stimulation
support by social workers and psychologists, who assists in coping with everyday life and illness and have a relieving effect
Here's my very personal therapy recommendations 🙂 :
- laughing and humour
- a lot of sport and exercise, preferably what is fun to you
- healthy diet
- meditation, relaxation methods
- positive attitude
- consciously notice the many small moments of happiness
- create a supportive environment of family and friends
- exchange with like-minded people e.g. in self-help groups
- in addition to conventional medical therapy also try alternative methods, such as naturopathy or traditional Chinese medicine, etc.
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Parkinson – www.parkinson-gesellschaft.de
- Deutsche Parkinson-Vereinigung e.V. – www.parkinson-vereinigung.de
There is a lot to say about Parkinson's disease. I have tried to limit myself to essential aspects and to use easy language. The content has been carefully compiled. Nevertheless, errors cannot be excluded. Also, changes may have occurred since the creation of the page. Therefore, no responsibility is taken for the correctness and completeness of the information. In particular, no liability is assumed for factual errors or their consequences.