Our central nervous system includes our brain and our spinal cord. Within our brain are nerve cells that create and use a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine acts like a messenger that transmits signals from the brain to different parts of the body. It is dopamine that makes movement and coordination possible throughout our body. When a person’s dopamine level is low, messages or signals from the brain will not reach other nerve cells of different body parts, and movement will be difficult to control. This condition is commonly known as the Parkinson’s disease, where a person having it will gradually lose his or her ability to control their movements.
Parkinson’s disease has been around for years now and still there is no absolute answer on how the nerve cells get damage or die, and how they lose the ability to produce dopamine. There are studies that correlate Parkinson’s to aging, or changes in the genes causes by harmful chemical exposure can disturb dopamine production of the nerves,
But how will you know if you are a candidate for having this disease? If you have experienced shaking of your hands, tremors or trembling; any trouble maintaining balance and coordination, having problem with walking or even just standing; experiencing stiffness and is generally slow when moving then you can be a candidate of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease because those said are just the initial signs and symptoms which may get worse over time since the disease is progressive.
If you already experienced some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it is best to consult a neurologist which is a doctor that knows best about brain nerves and muscles. Some tests will be done like brain scan and blood tests but it will not be used for the diagnosis. The doctor will just use it to confirm that no other problem is causing this signs and symptoms. The doctor relies more on your medical history, symptoms and the physical exam.
Right now, there is no complete cure on this progressive disease but the symptoms can be alleviated through the use of a drug called levodopa which simply increases the amount of the dopamine in our body. A person with such condition may also need to undergo therapies like speech and occupational therapy. Safety precautions should also be considered inside the patient’s room or house to prevent risk for injury or fall. For now, experts are still hoping that a cure for this disease will be found in the near future.