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What is Parkinsonism?

ParkinsonismThis is a condition or a group of symptoms that happens due to degeneration of specific parts of the brain that leads to characteristic slowness of movements, shaking of the fingers and hands (tremors), stiffness, stooped posture while walking and walking with a shuffling style and loss of control of posture. This term is only representative of the set of symptoms described above. It requires an expert to establish the exact underlying cause for the set of symptoms

What are the various causes of Parkinsonism?

Though genetic factors have recently been identified, the cause for this disabling condition which eventually leads to a bedridden state and death is unknown. Some drugs can cause Parkinsonian symptoms and so could stroke or progressive vascular damage to the brain. There are several other forms of Neurological diseases associated with Parkinsonian symptoms


What are the treatment options for the disease?

Parkinson’s disease (one of the causes of Parkinsonism) is incurable. However there are drugs that can be used to improve symptoms and are the mainstay treatment for the condition.


What other treatment options are there for Parkinsons Disease?

Surgical treatment is reserved for selected cases of Parkinsons disease where medical therapy is failing or is unable to control symptoms. As the surgical treatment has risks, the decision of surgical treatment has to be carefully weighed by the expert in conjunction with the patient. Deep Brain stimulation is a surgical treatment may help to reduce some movement symptoms of Parkinson's, such as slowness of movement, stiffness and tremor. This could also help reduce medication related side effects by reducing the need for medications if successful. Another technique where selective damage to selected parts of the brain(Pallidotomy, Thalamotomy and subthalamotomy) can help reduce disabling symptoms in some highly selected cases of severe Parkinsons disease.


What is Palliative care and when is it applicable in Parkinsons disease?

Palliative care is care reserved for extreme cases of any illness where a patinet is at the end-staged of life. Severe advanced Parkinsons disease patients who are bed bound and incontinent and at risk of pressure sores and chest infections may be candidates for Palliative therapy but this should be reserved for extreme cases