An elderly couple takes a walk

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

Almost one million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s disease, with 60,000 new diagnoses every year. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects the body’s movement. The first symptoms may be subtle, first appearing as tremors in the hand or fingers, usually on just one side of the body initially. Symptoms can progress to muscle rigidity and slowness of movement, known as bradykinesia. These three symptoms are significant factors in a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Getting to the root cause of symptoms that could indicate Parkinson’s is crucial. A prompt diagnosis can help treat its effects as efficiently as possible. Also, if the symptoms aren’t due to Parkinson’s, finding out why they’re occurring is equally vital.

Parkinson’s is typically diagnosed in people over age 60, and men are 50% more likely to be diagnosed than women. There isn’t a simple test to diagnose Parkinson’s. Instead, a diagnosis relies on physical symptoms and imaging scans.

For many people, the idea of a Parkinson’s diagnosis could seem daunting. This is partially due to the amorphous path each case can take. There isn’t one standard treatment plan and, as of yet, there isn’t a cure. However, multiple effective treatment options exist to mitigate its effects, symptoms, and progression.

Medications can minimize and reduce some symptoms. Exercising also helps with balance, coordination, muscle strength, and flexibility. In fact, people with Parkinson’s who exercise for a minimum of two and a half hours per week have been proven to experience slower declines in their quality of life. The Parkinson’s Foundation has extensive information about the best ways to exercise.

Only a healthcare provider can diagnose Parkinson’s. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms, please reach out to Roseman Medical Group for screening, diagnosis, and an individualized treatment plan. Our highly qualified providers are eager to deliver compassionate care for individuals living with Parkinson’s.  

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