Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and its Symptoms in Elderly People over 65.

2023-05-30 01:26:37

[골프타임즈] Elderly people over the age of 65 often lose physical functions due to aging. The risk of disease is higher than that of younger age groups in their 20s and 30s. In particular, it is necessary to prepare for the risk of diseases that are difficult to treat and take a long time to treat, such as dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.

Among them, in the case of Parkinson’s disease, it is difficult to detect the symptoms on its own as it progresses gradually and slowly, and since the causes are diverse and complex, it is impossible to know only with uniform tests, so periodic observation is required.

Hand tremor, which is a representative symptom, can be found to be caused by other diseases when examined accurately. It may be caused by other brain diseases, or symptoms may appear due to damage to the substantia nigra of the brain or side effects of drugs. In particular, brain tumors, chicken pox, cerebrovascular disease, brain trauma, etc., cause damage to the substantia nigra or decrease its function, resulting in a decrease in the secretion of dopamine, which sometimes accompanies symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease.

In fact, it is known that the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear when the secretion of dopamine is reduced by about 20% from the normal level. In addition, not only tremor appears, but various abnormalities such as loss of balance, gait disorder, muscle stiffness, eating disorder, and wheelchair dependence are shown. In order to overcome this, it is necessary to diagnose the cause through various examination processes that can be viewed in a complex way, not just partially confirming the symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease is one of the representative neurodegenerative diseases, and it is a disease that causes abnormal brain function due to the extinction of nerve cells for some reason in the process of aging. In the deep part of the brain, there is a part called the basal ganglia. In particular, an abnormality occurs in a part called ‘substantia nigra’, and it shows characteristic symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, slow motion, and abnormal posture. In fact, when you look at the brain structure, it shows that the size of the substantia nigra is reduced compared to normal people.

However, Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s syndrome are not the same concept, so they must be distinguished. Parkinson’s syndrome is a broader concept than Parkinson’s disease, and if Parkinson’s disease is caused by an abnormal secretion of dopamine in the substantia nigra, Parkinson’s syndrome is a concept that encompasses all diseases that show Parkinson’s symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease has asymmetrical symptoms, responds well to antiparkinsonian drugs such as levodopa, and progresses slowly. On the other hand, in Parkinson’s syndrome, the symptoms are symmetrical and appear due to abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system, and the response to anti-Parkinsonian drugs is reduced and frequent falls occur.

If not treated, the symptoms worsen over time, resulting in severe disability, and may be accompanied by dementia, a degenerative brain disease. Studies show that severe disability is found in 16% at 5 years, 37% at 10 years, and 42% at 15 years. Also, given that 40% of patients with Parkinson’s disease metastasize to dementia, it is important to actively pay attention to brain health and lower the risk of developing dementia.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are largely divided into motor and non-motor. Motility includes tremor (tremors), postural abnormalities, agitation (slowed movements), and muscle stiffness. Non-motor impairment includes sleep disorders, loss of sense of smell, decreased autonomic nerve function, and mental disorders. The most frequent occurrence is tremor, and it appears when you are resting or relaxing rather than moving. When the autonomic nervous function declines, hypotension, frequent urination, edema, cold hands and feet, and constipation cannot be consciously controlled. In mental disorders, the frequency of depression and dementia is high.

The substantia nigra of the brain is responsible for voluntary movement. It is responsible for movement of the limbs, trunk, neck, face, face, and tongue. When this place degenerates, dopamine secretion does not work properly, leading to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, it is necessary to accurately identify the factors that cause it to degenerate. There are many factors that cause brain cells to be lost, such as the brain, mind, and body, so you have to look at all of these together. In particular, it is necessary to differentiate it from diseases with similar symptoms, such as essential tremor.

Help : Park Joo-hong, director of Soul Oriental Medicine Clinic

Reporter Moon Jeong-ho karam@thegolftimes.co.kr

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