Parkinson's disease

Parkinson’s is a disease that primarily causes tremors in the hands and a general slowdown in movement.

Overview

Parkinson’s is a disease that primarily causes tremors in the hands and a general slowdown in movement. There are various causes, but often no organic cause can be found. The disease progresses slowly, and medication often has to be taken for life.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Tremors
    • The hands often tremble at rest
  • Slowdown in movement (bradykinesia)
    • The initiation of a movement is often difficult
  • Typical gait pattern
    • Arms don't swing when walking
    • Small steps
    • Upper body is bent forward

Other symptoms

  • Stiff joints (rigour)
  • Disturbance of balance
  • General slowing down
  • Thinking, movements, speaking, reaction time, etc.
  • Mental problems (e.g. depression)
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Constipation

Causes and treatment

Causes

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Neurological examination (e.g. walking on a line, testing of reflexes, etc.)
  • RI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
  • Special scans for Parkinson’s (DaTSCAN, IBZM Spect, FDG PET)
  • L-dopa test (administration of a Parkinson’s drug; do the symptoms improve?)
Possible therapies
  • Medication to treat Parkinson's
  • Physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy
  • More rarely, implanting of electrodes in the brain (deep brain stimulation)

What can I do myself?

  • Regular exercise, e.g. walks in the fresh air

When to see a doctor?

  • Hands start trembling for the first time
  • Gait pattern is changing
    • Small steps
    • Upper body is bent forward
    • Arms don't swing when walking

Further information

Parkinson Schweiz (Parkinson Switzerland)
www.parkinson.ch

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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