Parkinson’s is not the end

World Parkinson’s Disease Day is celebrated on the 11th of April of every year to raise awareness, to support people affected with Parkinson’s disease and to educate the community about the causes, symptoms and the available medical/surgical treatment methods. Neurology Specialist  Pınar Gelener Arsal MD. from Dr. Suat Günsel University of Kyrenia Hospital provided information about the disease:

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease as a rule begins insidiously and it is an asymmetric disease often beginning on just one side of the body which eventually spreads through to the other side of the body. Parkinson’s disease occurs in a long time period and it is important to recognize its symptoms.  Primary symptoms such as the loss of sense of smell, constipation, being unable to control urine or having difficulty urinating, depression, movement disorders, sleep disorders, obesity and daytime sleepiness may occur 10-20 years before a formal diagnosis of the disease.  Often patients state that; they notice changes in their handwriting, they cannot button-up a shirt, they have movement slowness, their steps become shorter and they find that they have problems when turning over or getting in and out of bed,  getting out of a chair, on the other hand they don’t have problems with doing things that should be done with more effort.  Also family members often state that they are noticing lack of facial expression,  changes in the voice and slurred speech also adding that” Usually at the early stages patients have trouble in starting to walk, turning over or walking in crowded places. As the disease progresses, freezing (sometimes called motor block) and swallowing problems may occur.  Difficulties with planning, problem-solving or making decisions, depression, sleep problems and anxiety are also common.

Is there any treatment? Can this treatment completely eliminate the disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a treatable disease. Treatment is symptomatic; it aims to improve patients’ complaints and increasing their quality of life.  It has been proven some medications may help manage the patients’problems.

What happens if left untreated?
With the help of treatment strategies it is possible to increase in the quality of life and the average life expectancy. Therefore, it is recommended to start the treatment in every patient diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The quality of life is adversely affected in individuals who are left untreated or who start their treatment late.

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