MEER | Parkinson’s Disease
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Parkinson’s Disease

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Introduction to Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which the numbers of chemical messengers in the brain are reduced. It often causes reduced mobility, memory problems, muscle tremors, and difficulties performing everyday tasks. Physiotherapy for people with Parkinson’s disease concentrates on increasing and maintaining mobility whilst reducing the risk of falls.

Meer PT provide neurological physiotherapy treatment specific to the needs of the individual. Our specialist physiotherapists understand how Parkinson’s affect an individual and those close to them.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease affects approximately 1 in 500 of the general population. It is a progressive neurological condition affecting activities such as walking, talking, and writing. It is named after Dr. James Parkinson, the London doctor who first identified Parkinson’s as a specific condition.

Parkinson’s disease occurs as result of a reduction of nerve cells in the part of the brain known as the substantia nigra. These cells are responsible for producing a chemical known as dopamine, which assists in the transmission of messages sent to the parts of the brain that co-ordinate movement. With the significant reduction in the number of dopamine-producing cells, these parts of the brain are unable to function normally.

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Common motor symptoms seen in Parkinson’s disease are:

Tremor – usually begins in one hand (the first symptom for 70% of people with Parkinson’s disease). Slowness of movement – people with Parkinson’s disease often find that they have difficulty initiating movements or that performing movements takes longer.

Stiffness or rigidity of muscles – people with Parkinson’s disease often find that they have problems with activities such as standing up from a chair or rolling over in bed. Postural instability – leads to impaired balance and falls.

Gait and posture disturbances:

Shuffling gait.
Decreased arm swing
Stooped, forward-flexed posture
Gait freezing – occurs in tight, cluttered spaces, doorways or when initiating gait

Other motor symptoms:
Fatigue
Mask-face, expressionless face with infrequent blinking
Micrographia (small, cramped handwriting)

Group with senior and young men and women people on treadmill in fitness gym running for sport
USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Senior woman sitting in bed and suffering from insomnia

Various non-motor symptoms may also be experienced, for example:

Sleep disturbance
Constipation
Urinary urgency
Depression

How is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed?

The onset of the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease tends to be gradual; therefore, it is often a number of months, or even years, before the symptoms become obvious enough for a person to consult their doctor.

Parkinson’s disease is difficult to diagnose, as there are no special teststo prove whether or not someone has the condition. Diagnosis is therefore based on medical history and a clinical examination of the person. The common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can have other causes and so tests and scans are often performed to rule these out.

Guidelines state that people with suspected Parkinson’s disease should be referred quickly (within 6 weeks) to a specialist with expertise in the differential diagnosis of this condition. Guidelines also recommend that the diagnosis of Parkinson’s should be reviewed regularly (every 6-12 months).

Medical Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease As there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease at present, drugs are used to try to control the symptoms. In the majority of newly diagnosed people considerable improvements can be achieved by careful introduction of anti-Parkinson drugs. When only mild symptoms are present, individuals may decide, together with their GP/consultant, to delay drug treatment until their symptoms increase and instead rely on a healthy lifestyle, focusing on exercise, relaxation and diet. As Parkinson’s disease is a very individual condition medication is prescribed and adapted to individual needs. Response to medication varies from person to person and not every medication will be considered suitable for everyone.

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Types of medication commonly used are:

Levodopa
Dopamine agonists
COMT inhibitors
MAO-B inhibitors
Glutamate antagonists
Anticholinergics
Surgery

Surgery is available for some people with Parkinson’s disease, dependent on symptoms. This includes:

Deep brain stimulation Lesioning

Parkinson’s Disease Physiotherapy Treatment:

Physiotherapy is very important in the management of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s disease usually have mobility problems and are often at high risk of falls. Meer PT aims to increase mobility and advises on changes to the home environment to increase independence and safety. As a result, patients with Parkinson’s disease will be able to cope better from day-to-day and maintain their independence.

Independence is increased with balance, stretching and strengthening exercises and provision of walking aids and equipment. Our physiotherapists will assess how an individual performs activities such as; walking, going up and down stairs, getting out of a chair and getting in and out of bed. Our physiotherapists can teach patients, their family and cares, special strategies on how to deal with common symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Meer PT recommend a home assessment is performed so advice can be given regarding any changes that may be required. This will increase the safety and independence of the patient with Parkinson’s disease. From the home assessment our physiotherapists will provide advice and suitable recommendations on aids and adaptations to maximize the independence and safety of the patient.  A specific falls prevention programmer can be created to be completed between treatment sessions.

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Why Meer PT

Unique treatment program tailored to suit each individual
No waiting lists
Specialist falls prevention program
Home environment assessments
Be seen at home or care home
Hydrotherapy treatment available
Patients can be seen by more than one physiotherapist at once, if required
Specialist neurological physiotherapists
Motivated, caring staff
Case management
Proven track record

Meer PT provide private physiotherapy services throughout Erbil Governorate. The majority of patients with Parkinson’s disease are seen in their home environment. This allows for a thorough home assessment and reduces the anxiety of patients.

Meer PT understand the difficulties associated with Parkinson’s disease and the impact it has on patients and those close to them.

Our dedicated, specialized staff can maximize the individual’s independence and safety by working closely with their partner, family and carers.