- Every year, 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), in the United States. This is an approximate count, as there are thousands of cases that are not detected or else, are being dismissed as symptoms of senility and old-age
- One million Americans live with Parkinson’s Disease, which is equal to the number of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease put together
- Around the world, there are over 10 million people suffering from PD
- An alarming 4% of PD cases are diagnosed in people less than 50 years of age
- Among the people suffering from PD in the US, around 33% plus are women while the balance 66% plus are men
- PD costs the American economy dearly, with the cost of treatment, social security payments, and lost income/revenue being a whopping USD 25 billion per year
- On an average, treating PD can cost USD 2,500 every year, which excludes surgical treatments like DBS (deep brain simulation) which can cost as much as USD 100,000 per patient
(Source: Parkinson’s disease Foundation, www.pdf.org)
What exactly is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive movement disorder and in the same class as Bradykinesia, Dyskinesia, Cerebral Palsy and 25 other disorders,with 18 variants of the same affliction. As the name implies, with all progressive movement disorders, symptoms continue and worsen with time, which is why,Parkinson’s is feared as much as cancer, AIDS or any of the auto-immune diseases. Substantia Nigra is an area in the brain,where the chemical dopamine is produced and this controls a person’s movement and coordination. PD destroys the neurons in the Substantia Nigra, thereby reducing the production of dopamine and consequently, reducing the person’s ability to control their movements.
Although no precise explanation is given for the cause of PD, both genetic and environmental factors have been attributed to it. Genetic and heredity factors include mutation in general, with children of PWP’s (people with PD) having a 4-8% higher chance of developing PD.Environmental factors are said to be a stronger contributor to PD;chemicals found in herbicides, insecticides, chemical weapons and hard water found in bore-wells or open wells, rich in minerals like manganese, when consumed directly in rural populations of third-world countries, have been found to trigger PD. Despite the findings said to cause PD, there is however, no explanation, as to why, between two people exposed to the same set of environmental toxins, one may develop PD while another does not.
Symptoms of PD can vary from person to person, but there are a few common traits, and these are divided into primary motor symptoms, secondary motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms.
Symptoms of PD are:
- Trembling of the hands, fingers, legs, jaw, parts of the face and neck
- Slow and sporadic movement
- Stiffness in the arms, legs and torso
- Awkward posture and unsteady gait
- Impulsive and compulsive behavior
- Dementia (in advanced stages)
The Role ofNexGenin PD care
Caring for PWPs (people with PD) has been, and shall always be a challenge, even in the future when more effective treatments may emerge. As a premium Home and Healthcare provider in the Bay Area, NexGen has been helping PWPs and their families with high-quality caregiver services. Our compassionate caregivers’ services are equivalent to that of a family member’s care in managing PWP with their daily tasks, encouraging and motivating them all the time, chaperoning them during social or clinical visits, etc. Our thorough screening procedures to hire outstanding caregivers, our commitment to integrity, trust, and accountability to PWPs or their families have brought cheer to many distraught families, making us a household name in the Bay Area.