Parkinsonism is a disease of the brain. It is graded clinically as a syndrome because it involves a number of symptoms and signs owing to the pathology in the brain. Parkinson’s disease is considered a syndrome with its clinical symptoms showing in a classic triad of Bradykinesia, tremors, and rigidity.
Clinical Features of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is very well known for its symptoms and is classically diagnosed on the basis of signs and symptoms.
Tremor is the most common symptom of the disease. The disease typically shows resting tremors in which the patient shows tremors in the limbs at the time of resting arms. They are visible when the patient rests his arms on his lap or lies on the bed. Resting tremors are sometimes termed as Parkinson’s tremors.
Hypokinesia and Bradykinesia is another sign of Parkinson’s disease. Bradykinesia is the slowness in the movement and hypokinesia is the decrease in the amount of spontaneous movement. They occur as a result of pathological changes in the basal ganglia of the brain.
Due to tremors and Bradykinesia, postural instability naturally appears in Parkinsonism’s patients. This leads to frequent falls of the patient of Parkinsonism.
Muscle tone is increased abnormally and patient show stiffness and rigidity in the joints. Typical name used for Parkinsonism is “cogwheel rigidity”.
Causes of Parkinsonism
- Some medications are known to cause the disease in about 7% of cases of Parkinsonism. Antipsychotic drugs, lithium, and tetrabenazine are notorious for causing Parkinsonism. The incidence of disease increases if the drug taking individual has reached old age.
- Certain toxins are also responsible for causing pathology in the basal ganglia and result in Parkinsonism. Chronic and excessive manganese is also known to be one of the causes of the disease.
- Infectious agents like HIV/AIDs, Encephalitis lethargica also cause the symptoms of Parkinsonism.
- Direct injury to the brain for example during boxing results in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It is also called as boxer’s dementia.
- Some vascular injuries or diseases of the brain also result in the manifestation of Parkinsonism.
Treatment of Parkinsonism
Multi-disciplinary approach and broad-based approach is required for the management of Parkinsonism. The management begins with counseling of the family about the disease disclosure, manifestations, and treatment options. The aim is to improve the quality of life as well as the gradual recovery of symptoms with the passage of time. Medications are definitely used in the treatment supported by physiotherapy and certain other disciplines are also involved. Levodopa is the drug of choice supported by other drugs like MAO inhibitors.
Parkinsonism medication log
Treatment of Parkinsonism takes long and needs a regular administration with proper dose. This is only possible if a tracking chart or medication log is maintained by the caregivers. Sometimes the dose of the drug has to be tapered off which again needs a record. Parkinsonism medication log works on the same principles as other medication logs in which the date and time of drug are mentioned along with proper dose and any effects if visible.