Despite Parkinson’s normal life is possible: experts

Parkinson’s disease normally progresses slowly, taking as much as eight years for a patient to see significant deterioration in their condition. However, with physiotherapy, the disease progression could be slowed, neurologists said.

A webinar was hosted on The Hindu’s Wellness Series, titled ‘Reclaiming Life from Parkinson’s Disease’, on Saturday, ahead of World Parkinson’s Day being observed on Sunday. K. Subramaniyan, senior neurologist, and Shankar Balakrishnan, intervention neurologist, at MIOT International, walked the audience through the various stages of the disease and ways to slow down its progression.

Dr. Shankar explained that deep brain stimulation (DBS) is one of the treatment options provided only when there is a possibility that surgery could improve the condition of the patient. The evaluation was detailed and surgery was ruled out if the patient could be put on medication and therapy, he said.

Dr. Subramaniyan said the earliest signs of the disease were tremors. During this period, patients were generally put on exercises and monitored.

All patients were encouraged to do physiotherapy as it gave a psychological advantage and made them feel they were able to overcome the condition.

Though the genetic component played a definite role in disease progression, patients were advised to carry on with their normal life, he said.

No specific diet

On whether diet and exercise could help prevent Parkinson’s disease, he said while exercise does help slow the progression of the disease, there was no specific diet for the same.

To a question on the success of DBS, Dr. Shankar said the ideal candidate was one who had the symptoms of the disease for four years. “DBS is offered only when there is a possibility that the patient’s life will change post-surgery,” he said.

According to Dr. Subramaniyam, though there are no indications that urbanisation and industrialisation had increased the incidence of Parkinson’s disease, those who were exposed to abnormal levels of chemicals and farmers who use pesticides and insecticides were found to develop the condition. “Toxins in insecticides and pesticides do increase the incidence,” he explained.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 7:42:53 PM |

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