Parkinson’s disease begins with the loss of brain cells called the basal ganglia. Neurologic disease, seen at age 65 and older, manifests with tremors in the hands, arms, feet, or slowing of movements. It arises slowly over time, but gains momentum and begins to affect a person’s life.
The disease develops over time when the dopaminergic neurons, which transmit nerves between each other, become damaged in the nuclei called substantia nigra in the brain. The symptoms of the disease are felt with the decrease of about 80 percent of the cells. It is not yet clear why the cells are damaged, but genetic predisposition and environmental factors are thought to be effective.
The most common symptom is hand tremor.
The resulting symptoms are hand tremors caused by excitement or stress. These tremors can also occur when the person is at rest. In some cases, a dull expression may appear on the person’s face. These symptoms, usually seen on one side of the body, can affect the other half over time. With these symptoms, the person’s movements may slow down, tremors may increase, and postural disturbances may occur.
The main symptoms are slowing down of movements. The slowing down of the movements is apparent from walking because the person takes small steps while walking and vibrations can be seen in the arms. As the disease progresses, the posture of the body may reveal bending forward or sideways. Along with these, forgetfulness, constipation, psychiatric and sleep disorders can also occur. In the children of the patients, the problem of sleep disorder is found.
Rehabilitation slows down the course of the disease
Even if the progression of Parkinson’s disease can’t be stopped completely, the process can be slowed down. The preferred treatment methods are drug therapy. The drug chosen based on the person is usually used for life and infusion therapy may be required in the future.
In addition to the medicinal therapy to be applied, it is very important to add rehabilitation to the treatment process. Forming a habit of exercise greatly slows the progression of the disease, but reduces the effects of the symptoms in the long run. Exercise prevents people from sitting in their posture and prevents any muscle and heart complications. In widely used programs; relaxation, range of motion, aerobics, breathing, balance, walking, upright posture, and coordination exercises are included.
Relaxation exercises reduce the stiffness of the body. A healthier return is obtained from the applied rehabilitation program after the stiffness has decreased.
The rehabilitation process to be applied to patients should become the life order of a person. In this way habituation is learned and the progression of the disease is prevented.