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Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders

What is Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders?

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common progressive nervous system disorders that can affect movement in a person. Not only can it disrupt the daily activities, but it can also severely affect the quality of life of the patient and its family members. The symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders do not show up immediately and start gradually. While few may experience tremors, others may experience motor skills problems like difficulty or slow walking, or stiffness in muscles in different parts of the body, change in character of speech or difficulty in moving arms. The symptoms usually progress and worsen over time.

Parkinson’s disease occurs when certain nerve cells in the brain start to break down or die. This causes the dopamine levels in the brain to decrease and cause abnormal brain activities, thus leading to Parkinson’s or other movement disorders.

Parkinson’s disease may be idiopathic or caused due to factors such as genetic or family history, or increased exposure to toxic environments.

Symptoms

In case of Parkinson’s disease, the signs and symptoms can differ with every patient. For some, the symptoms might be mild and missed or begin to show only on one side of the body. Once it starts to worsen, the symptoms on the other side of the body are noticed. The common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Feeling a tremor or shaking in the hands or fingers, especially when they are resting
  • Stiffness in muscles in any part of the body that tend to restrict range of motion and pose difficulty in movement
  • Slow-paced and time-consuming movement due to shorter steps or dragging feet while walking, difficulty in moving hands while walking or blinking or smiling
  • Lack of balance and impaired posture
  • Changes while speaking like slurry speech, slow and soft talking, monotonous speech pattern, hesitating before speaking
  • Difficulty in writing and holding objects

Treatment

There are several ways to Parkinson’s Disease. However, the treatment is largely dependent on the patient’s condition. Medications can help in slowing down the progress of Parkinson’s disease and manage symptoms like tremor and impaired walking along with regular therapy sessions with a trained physical therapist. Since there are low brain dopamine concentrations in Parkinson’s patients, medicines that can convert into dopamine after it passes the brain is given. Such medications can significantly improve the condition and the motor skills of the patient in the initial phases of treatment. Physical therapy, similarly, can help in strengthening the loose muscles, manage pain, immobility, and lack of coordination, help in regaining balance, feel more energetic than fatigued or weak. With occupational therapy, the patient can change the ways of doing daily tasks in a more relaxed and comfortable way without compromising on productivity and completion of tasks. An occupational therapist, after assessing the condition and stage of the disorder, can help in recommending therapies that can improve arm and hand coordination, write, work on computers, drive, cook or eat with the help of customised tools.

These may, to some extent, control the condition since Parkinson’s and movement disorders may not be easily reversed. However, when the condition has progressed to an advanced stage, it is advisable to undergo surgical treatment.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is mostly advisable for patients who have been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than four years and have serious motor control problems that are not properly managed by medications. In DBS surgery, the surgeons implant electrodes in a specific part of the brain using MRI and brain cell activity recordings. These electrodes are then connected to a pacemaker or generator placed in the chest near the collarbone or in the abdomen to send electrical impulses to the brain that controls motor functions. This procedure may help reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s. The procedure involves risk and may require certain consequent adjustments and changes later.

Why Meitra Hospital?

Both Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders can relentlessly progress and cause disabilities. With steady progress in understanding these conditions and staying abreast about the new and improved treatment methods, we, at The Department of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at Meitra Hospital, ensure that comprehensive and timely treatment including medications and non-pharmacological methods such as Deep Brain Stimulation is provided to every patient suffering from Parkinson’s and other movement disorders like ataxia, essential tremor, tics, Lewy body dementia, dystonia, writer’s cramp, chorea and other types of movement disorders. Our aim is to help patients control their symptoms and gain knowledge to feel empowered, less dependent on family and overcome obstacles to enjoy better quality of life. Parkinson’s and movement disorders is not a one-time treatment and cure disorder. It can manifest multiple times through multiple ways. Hence, it requires forming long-term relationships with patients, arrange help, educate, and condition them to sail through subtle movement problems to disabilities by talking to them and enabling them to take charge as required.

At Meitra Hospital, our dedicated team of experts and specialists:

  • Neurologist
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Psychologist
  • Electrophysiologist
  • Physiatrist
  • Dietician
  • Psychiatrist

are trained in monitoring progress and offering optimal support in terms of reviewing conditions, developments in the conditions and advising newer therapies to every patient seeking help. The department is adept in establishing benchmarks for using effective therapies and treatment methods.

The Centre distinguishes itself primarily on:

  • Treatment by highly qualified movement disorder experts with specialised trained and research experience in the field
  • Early selection and timely intervention for cases requiring advanced procedures like deep brain stimulation, EMG guided botulinum toxin and apomorphine pump
  • Full-fledged Neuro rehabilitation Unit with speech therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, balance training and robotics gait trainer
  • Advanced diagnostics using 3 tesla MRI and electrophysiological methods

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