Parkinson's Disease

Friday, April 27, 2012

Parkinsons disease is a brain disorder that affects an estimated one million Americans. While the condition usually develops after the age of 65, 15 percent of those diagnosed are under 50. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this crippling disease in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Parkinsons disease causes your brain to make less of a chemical called dopamine. This affects how your brain controls your body movements.

Parkinsons disease is more common in older people. Some people younger than 40 years can get it, especially if it runs in the family. You cant catch it from other people.

Symptoms of Parkinsons include tremors in your hands. You also may have stiffness in your body. It may be hard to move quickly or walk. These symptoms may be worse on one side of your body. As time goes by, you may fall more easily.

If you have Parkinsons disease, your handwriting may be hard to read and smaller than usual. You also may have problems swallowing, going to the bathroom and sleeping.

There is no cure for Parkinsons disease and no treatment to prevent it. But there are treatments that can help with the symptoms. Your doctor can also give you advice on how you can stay more active and comfortable.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.