Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. It is also one of the most common movement disorders Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease where you progressively lose muscle control in the limbs, leading to tremors at rest, stiffness, slowness or difficulty walking, talking or coordinating movement. As your symptoms worsen it may become difficult to walk, talk and carry out other daily tasks.
Parkinson’s disease progression and degree of impairment varies between people. Some people with Parkinson’s can live long productive lives, while others experience deteriorating health much more quickly. People with Parkinson’s Disease generally have the same life expectancy as the general population, despite some associated complications like falls or pneumonia. Studies show there really isn’t much difference when it comes to life expectancy rates.
Parkinson’s disease affects people’s voluntary and involuntary motor skills. It usually starts on one side of the body and gradually gets more severe over time. Some people are more affected than others, but it can affect anyone. Parkinson’s disease causes the death of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. The symptoms are slow to appear, which can result in an irreversible loss of cells by the time they manifest.
Tremors: this includes trembling of the fingers, hands, arms, feet, legs and head. This will be worse when you’re not doing anything but might stop when you’re involved in a task. The tremors can also get worse if you’re feeling excited, tired or stressed.
Rigidity may be present in the limbs and trunk, which can increase with motion. This can cause stiffness and pain, along with muscle aches. It also affects the hands to produce micrographia which can make it hard to eat well.
Bradykinesia: A condition marked by slowness in voluntary movements. Over time, it may become more and more difficult to initiate and complete movements. Bradykinesia also comes with stiffness and can affect facial muscles, making expressions less noticeable.
Impaired reflexes can lead to instability – so balance is difficult. This postural instability may lead to falls.
Parkinsonian gait: Individuals with more progressive Parkinson’s disease develop a distinctive walk where they rely on impaired arm swing and less of their body weight is placed on the front leg, causing it to be more bent. Some symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease include stiffness and tremors. It can make it tough to walk, as well as make pivoting and turning difficult.
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We are so excited to offer the certified Lee Silverman Voice Program for adults adapting to life with Parkinson's disease (PD). Schedule a consultation to determine if you are a good fit for this program. Speech therapy, language, swallowing and voice treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is offered.