The date is remembered worldwide on April 11. Photo: Disclosure.
World Parkinson's Awareness Day was created with the aim of breaking taboos and making society aware of the disease that affects millions of people. Nowadays, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1% of the world population over 65 is diagnosed with Parkinson's. In Brazil, it is estimated that about 200 thousand people suffer from the disease.
Parkinson is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the basal ganglia, the region responsible for the production of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that acts on the central nervous system), thus, the lack of this substance causes the motor symptoms, which are characteristics of the disease. In addition, other regions can also be affected, causing a drop in other neurotransmitters, which leads to non-motor symptoms, such as sleep and mood disorders.
Normally, the disease appears in people over 60. However, there is early Parkinson's disease, which affects younger people under 40, explains Adriana Moro, a neurologist invited by Prati-Donaduzzi pharmaceutical industry to promote knowledge on the issue.
Parkinson's disease is caused by a lack of dopamine that occurs when brain nerve cells, which produce this substance, are slowly and progressively destroyed. This deficiency compromises the performance of the brain, which is unable to send messages correctly to the rest of the body, resulting in loss of muscle function.
However, there are other factors that can lead to the disease, such as certain genetic mutations in case where a family member already has the disease, and other relevant elements related to external issues, such as environmental factors and high exposure to certain toxins, such as insecticides.
Features and Symptoms
The most notable symptoms, which characterize the disease, are the motor ones. The most known by society are unilateral tremors, which happen even if the person is with the limbs at rest. However, there are still other features such as:
- Slowness of voluntary movements, called bradykinesia;
- Rigidity or inflexibility of the limbs or joints;
- Postural instability, impaired balance and coordination.
In addition, the disease has several non-motor symptoms, such as reduced smell; constipation; mood disorders, such as depression; sleep disorders, such as insomnia; and memory deficit can happen in certain cases.
Some symptoms of the disease are very mild and are not necessarily linked to spasms and tremors. "Often the patient by him/herself does not notice the onset of Parkinson's disease symptoms, in many cases it is a relative who notices them", says the neurologist.
Treatment is based on the use of drugs to improve motor symptoms, which cause difficulties with walking, movement and tremor, increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain, and drugs that help to combat non-motor symptoms. With the introduction of these drugs, there is a significant improvement in the patient's quality of life.
In addition to drugs, it is possible to seek help in rehabilitation therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological monitoring and speech therapy, among others, individually indicated in accordance with the symptoms of each patient. These treatments can help to prevent, or at least delay, the loss of the person's capabilities and motor skills.
* This content is elaborated by Prati-Donaduzzi pharmaceutical industry, which aims to bring more information about health to the population. The company also provides doctors with exclusive access to content on various pathologies, among other materials on the website: https://www.evolucaoparavida.com.br/.
Prati-Donaduzzi, a Brazilian pharmaceutical industry, is specialized and a benchmark in the development and production of generic drugs. Headquartered in Toledo, Western Paraná, it produces approximately 12 billion therapeutic doses per year and generates more than 4,500 employments. The industry has one of the largest generic drug portfolios in Brazil and it has been working in the area of Medical Prescriptions since 2019.