A disease relating to a progressive degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, Parkinson's disease leads to shaking/tremor and difficulty in movement, walking, coordination etc. As the disease progresses, it could lead to cognitive and behavioral problems. In its advanced stages, this disease could lead to dementia. Parkinson's disease commonly occurs in people aged over 50. James Parkinson, a general practitioner in London was the first to describe the symptoms of the disease and thus the disease has taken the name Parkinson's disease.
The disease progresses gradually, initial symptoms might be just a tremor in the hands. Slowly the disease leads to slowing or freezing of movements. There is no complete cure for the disease. However there are treatments that can handle the symptoms of the disease. Parkinson's disease is also known as Parkinsonism.
Diagnosed as the most common movement disorder, Parkinson's disease is classified into three types based on the age of onset of the disease
Juvenile Parkinson's disease: Sets in before the age of 21. This kind is a rare occurrence.
Young-onset Parkinson's disease: The disease sets in between the age of 21 and 40. Reportedly common in East Asian countries.
Adult-onset Parkinson's disease: The most common and prevalent type of Parkinson's disease, the disease sets in after the age of 60. The symptoms aggravate with advancing age.
Causes for Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease sets in usually after the age of 50 and affects both men and women.
The physician asks for the medical history of the patient and does a neurological examination of the patient. Hand co-ordination, walking, etc are assessed through neurological examination.
Treating Parkinson's disease
Hallervorden spatz disease
Hallervorden Spatz disease or HSD is a rare neurological movement disorder that is passed down through families. It is characterized by progressive degeneration of the nervous system. According to the National Institute of Health, Hallervorden Spatz disease or its subtype affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Hallervorden Spatz disease was first described in 1922 as a form of brain degeneration characterized by iron deposition in the brain. The most recently used term for HSD is 'panthothenate kinase – associated neuro degeneration' as HSD specifically causes neuro degeneration and excessive iron accumulation. Onset of the disease is commonly in late childhood or early adolescence but there are cases with adult onset as well. The disease can be familial or sporadic. When familial it is inherited recessively.
Symptoms of Hallervorden spatz disease
Hallervorden Spatz disease may possibly cause several other diseases including Cerebellar syndrome, Choreoathetosis, Chronic brain failure, Fits, Parkinsonism, Retinitis pigmentosa and Spastic ataxia.
Diagnosis of Hallervorden spatz disease
A neurological examination will reveal abnormal postures and movements, muscle rigidity, tremors and weakness. Genetic tests help to detect defective gene that causes the disease. However, this test is not widely available. MRI and similar other tests help to rule out the movement disorders and diseases.
Hallervorden Spatz disease gets worse and nerves are damaged over time. This leads to lack of movement and often death by early adulthood. Hence, treatment to control the symptoms becomes imperative. But there are no specific lines of treatment for HSD, consuming certain vitamins like panthothenate, Coenzyme Q10 and antioxidants can help the patient to some extent as they help ease the symptom severity. Sometimes medications used to treat symptoms for HSD can cause additional complications. These include blood clots, respiratory infections and skin breakdown.
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Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 5, 2023