Monday, February 23, 2009
Parkinsonís disease is a brain disorder that affects an estimated 1.5 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 todayís 60 Second Housecall.
Parkinsonís disease causes your brain to make less of a chemical called dopamine. This affects how your brain controls your body movements.
Parkinsonís disease is more common in older people. Some people younger than 40 years can get it, especially if it runs in the family. You canít catch it from other people.
Symptoms of Parkinsonís 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 Parkinsonís 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 Parkinsonís 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, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.