Parkinson’s Disease in Men – Symptoms and Treatments
Parkinson’s disease is a common degenerative disorder that mostly affects men of higher age groups. However, this has started to invade the lives of even young men.
Parkinson’s disease affects the nerves in the brain thus affecting a man’s ability to talk, walk, move or comprehend. It is a neurodegenerative disorder and has no cure since it is mostly related to old age. It is a very devastating disease that takes away a man’s mental faculties, disabling him permanently.
Parkinson’s disease in detail
The brain is a complex structure made up of nerve cells and bindings. It is the ‘computer’ of every human being and makes us alive. Since it is a mishmash of thousands of nerve endings, any mishap can cause some serious damage to the brain itself.
In Parkinson’s disease, the transmission of dopamine and acetylcholine, the two hormones that organise the transmission of nerve messages get disturbed and this causes havoc for any individual. The ability to move, talk, make sense out of things, and walk all get affected to the point that the patient gets permanent damage to the brain that is disabling. Here we discuss its causes and how it it treated.
What age does Parkinsons start in men?
The onset age of Parkinson's disease can vary, but it typically occurs in individuals over the age of 60. However, it's important to note that Parkinson's disease can also occur in younger individuals, although it is relatively rare. This is known as early-onset Parkinson's disease, and it can manifest in people in their 40s or even earlier. The exact age of onset can vary from person to person, and there is no specific age at which Parkinson's disease exclusively starts in men.
Causes of Parkinson’s disease
There are several causes to Parkinson’s disease, mostly relating to head injuries and loss of mental faculties:
- Brain tumour
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head injuries
These are mostly injurious situation where the head is struck by a trauma causing cells to get damaged and resulting in Parkinson’s disease. These injuries also affect the motor neurons of the brain that can further lead to brain diseases.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease exhibits several symptoms and signals. This varies according to every individual and is mostly observed to advance slowly. Since there is no cure for this disease, its spread cannot be stopped. Some of the common symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
- Change in personality
- Inability to move certain parts of the body
- Loss of hearing, vision and speaking
- Inability to maintain balanced posture
- Trembling in hands, arms and legs
- Fainting and falls
- Erratic muscle movement
- Emotional disturbance
Given these common symptoms, especially when it is unexplained trembling, fainting or mood swings, its best to consult a neurologist.
Treating Parkinson’s disease
There is no cure for this disease as it’s a purely neurodegenerative syndrome where the nerve cells of the brain get destroyed. However, there are rehabilitative and cognitive practices that can slow down its progress. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Levodopa that is a supplement for dopamine to reduce trembling
- Anticholinergic medications
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Surgical operations in terms of serious symptoms
However, it has to be noted here that these are simply temporary, slowing down strategies to help men suffering from Parkinson’s disease as there are no permanent cures that can cut its progress and bring back the original nerve cells. In long term, Parkinson’s disease does advance to higher levels.
What is the finger test for Parkinson's?
The finger test for Parkinson's disease is a simple clinical assessment called the "Finger Tapping Test" or "Finger Tapping Task." This test is used to evaluate the speed and rhythm of finger movements, which can be affected in individuals with Parkinson's disease.
During the test, the individual is usually asked to tap their index finger against their thumb as rapidly as possible for a specific duration, typically around 10 seconds. The movement is usually repeated multiple times with each hand.
The test assesses the presence of bradykinesia, which refers to the slowness of movement, a common symptom of Parkinson's disease. In Parkinson's patients, the finger tapping movements may be slower, less coordinated, or have a reduced amplitude compared to individuals without the condition.
What can mimic Parkinson's disease?
There are several conditions and disorders that can mimic the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. These conditions are often referred to as "Parkinsonism" or "Parkinson's plus syndromes." Some examples include:
- Drug-induced Parkinsonism: Certain medications, such as antipsychotics used to treat psychiatric disorders, can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. These symptoms typically resolve once the medication is discontinued
- Essential tremor: Essential tremor is a neurological disorder that can cause rhythmic shaking or tremors, often in the hands or arms. While it can be similar to Parkinson's disease tremors, essential tremor usually does not cause the same motor symptoms like rigidity or bradykinesia
- Multiple system atrophy (MSA): MSA is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disorder that shares some similarities with Parkinson's disease. It is characterized by a combination of Parkinsonism symptoms along with autonomic dysfunction and other neurological features
- Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP): PSP is another rare neurodegenerative disorder that can mimic Parkinson's disease symptoms. It affects movement, balance, and coordination and is associated with difficulties with eye movements, falls, and cognitive changes
- Corticobasal degeneration (CBD): CBD is a rare neurological disorder characterized by movement abnormalities similar to Parkinson's disease. It also involves cognitive impairment, apraxia (loss of the ability to perform purposeful movements), and other neurological symptoms