|Here at Yew Tree we are lucky enough to have a wide range of patients. It is important to us to recognize signs and any differences. We want ALL of our patients, young and old to feel valued and taken care of.
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, and controls everything you do, including moving. A person with Parkinson’s disease gradually loses the ability to totally control body movements. Mostly, it’s adults who get this disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors or trembling (shaking hands are often the most telltale signs of it); difficulty maintaining balance and coordination; trouble standing or walking; stiffness; and general slowness.
Over time, a person with Parkinson’s may have trouble smiling, talking, or swallowing. Their faces may appear flat and without expression, but people with Parkinson’s continue to have feelings — even though their faces don’t always show it. Sometimes people with the disease can have trouble with thinking and remembering too.
Because of problems with balance, some people with Parkinson’s have to use a walking aids. We have an accesable surgery and are always open to ideas to improve anything we can for you to visit us independently. Some people with Parkinson’s may also feel sad or depressed and lose interest in the things they used to like to do. Which is another reason why it is important to make sure if your mother, father, aunt etc has Parkinson’s you help them keep up with their regular dental visits. They have enough to deal with and may not even think to book their examinations. Also they may not have the most diligent regime with their oral health. Help us to help them.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear gradually and get worse over time. But because Parkinson’s disease usually develops slowly, most people who have it can live a long and relatively healthy life.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?
In the very deep parts of the brain, there is a collection of nerve cells that help control movement, known as the basal ganglia (say: BAY-sul GAN-glee-ah). In a person with Parkinson’s disease, these nerve cells are damaged and do not work as well as they should.
These nerve cells make and use a brain chemical called dopamine (say: DOH-puh-meen) to send messages to other parts of the brain to coordinate body movements. When someone has Parkinson’s disease, dopamine levels are low. So, the body doesn’t get the right messages it needs to move normally.
Experts agree that low dopamine levels in the brain cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but no one really knows why the nerve cells that produce dopamine get damaged and die.
Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease?
Every hour 2 people are told they have Parkinson’s and both men and women can get it. An estimated number of people that had been diagnosed in 2018 was 145,000 in the UK alone. That is about 1 adult in every 350. Symptoms usually appear when someone is older than 50 and it becomes more common as people get older but younger people can get it too. Micheal J Fox was diagnosed with it when he was only 29!
Many people wonder if you’re more likely to get Parkinson’s disease if you have a relative who has it. Although the role that hereditary plays isn’t completely understood, we do know that if a close relative like a parent, brother, or sister has Parkinson’s, there is a greater chance of developing the disease.
Although this information can be a lot to take in and it may not be as happy and heart warming as growing sunflowers. It is important to cover all aspects of our patients interests and monthly National Days. In particular last year when I did cover this briefly I had many of our patients who felt that they wanted to let me know they had enjoyed not only the links I had included but my own thoughts.