Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic and progressive disorder of the central nervous system involving the malfunction and death of neurons – vital nerve cells in a portion of the mid-brain. These neurons produce dopamine which is a chemical that controls movement and coordination. The decrease in the amount of dopamine produced leaves the person with the inability to control movement normally and results in the tremors so often associated with PD.
Of those diagnosed, 85% suffer from classic idiopathic (unknown cause) Parkinson’s. An unfortunate 15% may suffer from one the atypical variants which are more serious and less treatable: MSA – multiple system atrophy; PSP – progressive supranuclear palsy; and CBD- corticobasal degeneration.
Typically a disease of those over 60, a small percentage of Parkinson’s sufferers, 4%, are diagnosed before reaching 50 years of age.
Motor signs of Parkinson’s include tremors, slowness and stiffness. At the early stage of the disease, about 70% of people experience slight tremors in the hand or foot of one side of the body usually appearing when the person’s muscles are relaxed. This is referred to as “resting tremor”. Bradykinesia or slow movement describes the reduction of spontaneous movement which may give the appearance of stillness and/or facial expressiveness. This may affect speech as well as movement. Rigidity or stiffness causes inflexibility of the limbs, neck and trunk and postural instability resulting in a tendency to be unstable when standing. Other motor symptoms that may be associated are freezing gait – often temporary - writing problems, and swallowing issues. Non-motor symptoms may include behavioral issues along with memory and slowed thinking.
Parkinson’s has proven responsive to a number of clinical treatments and patients should be under the care of a qualified neurologist. However, there are numerous studies that have shown the benefits of exercise and counseling to the management of the condition and it is here that the interventions of the Neuro Vitality Center will prove to be valuable to both the patient and the families of the patients.
OUR APPROACH TO TREATING PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Following a comprehensive general evaluation, the Center will schedule exercise and, if needed, speech evaluations for specific appointments or specific groups. Additionally, the schedule of programs of interest and assistance will be available to each person who becomes part of the program. Specific Caregiver groups will be open to the family members.
To schedule a new patient appointment
760-323-7676 ext. 109
American Parkinson Disease Association
National Parkinson Foundation
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Neuro Vitality Center