Parkinsons Disease

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Health insurance Pages: 7 (2316 words) Published: March 21, 2011
Parkinson’s disease is a common disease facing many older people across the world. It affects the central nervous system and it impairs cognitive processes, motor skills and other functions. This disease mostly affects the older generation and it manifests itself with symptoms which include rigidity, tremor, postural instability, slowness in movement and others. Other symptoms include sleep difficulties, sensory and autonomic dysfunction. Parkinson’s disease has a high prevalence rate among older people with approximately 500,000 people suffering from the disease in the United States. In addition, there are approximately 1 million people who suffer from the disease but they have not been diagnosed yet (Oxtoby et. al., 2004). This makes Parkinson’s disease a serious illness which requires urgent interventions by society. Parkinson’s disease adversely affects the daily life of people suffering from it since it affects their cognitive processes or motor skills. This makes most patients rely on family and friends for survival. As a result, there are various programs which have been developed to cater for people suffering from the illness. This paper aims at analyzing Parkinson’s disease including statistics and effects on patients. Various programs which cater for patients suffering from the disease will be discussed and further interventions needed to reduce adverse effects on society recommended. The discussed issues will be summarized at the end. Statistics, causality and treatment

It has been stated that there are 500,000 people suffering from Parkinson’s disease in the United States and a further 1 million who have the disease but who have not been diagnosed yet. The disease kills an average of 14,000 people annually in the US. In the UK, approximately 1% of hospital consultations are for Parkinson’s disease and the mean age of patients diagnosed with the disease is 65. Globally, it is estimated that approximately 10 million suffer from the disease although there are few statistics on Parkinson’s disease. The cause of the disease is not known although it has been linked with genetics in some cases. It has also been linked to exposure to some insecticides. Parkinson’s is usually diagnosed by a combination of methods. It is difficult to diagnose the disease using pathological means and clinical tests are usually used in diagnosing Parkinson’s. Neuro-imaging is also another effective way of diagnosing the disorder. The disease is usually treated using medication although at some stages complications may occur as a result of reliance on medication. Treatment techniques include the use of MAO-B inhibitors, dopamine agonists and levodopa. Rehabilitation and diet have also been seen to help in relieving symptoms. In extreme cases, brain stimulation and surgery is used to relieve symptoms of the disease. Psycho-social challenges facing affected patients

There are many challenges which patients who suffer from Parkinson’s face. Since the disease impairs cognitive processes, motor skills and other functions, it makes day to day activities difficult to perform. Acts which many people take for granted such as talking, walking, bathing, bathroom control, memory and others, may suddenly prove challenging for Parkinson’s patients to perform. This may make them social burdens who require round the clock attention from their families or health care practitioners. Many patients especially those who are poor or marginalized are usually unable to access such care and they are left to suffer on their own. However, there are various groups and projects which are developed to cater for patients who cannot access effective care. Patients suffering from symptoms of the disease may also be unable to maintain decent employment opportunities due to poor cognitive and motor skills as a result of the disease. Inability to maintain employment makes such patients dependent on others. Patients who do...
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