Parkinson’s can be a very devastating disorder. Not just for the people who experience it, but also their relatives. It is a draining disorder that takes its course on a person, and when it is done, the person is typically reduced to a shell of himself.
This can be a difficult thing to think about, but it’s something that thousands, if not millions of people must think about.
The final stages of Parkinson’s are among the most difficult of the entire ordeal. Before we can talk about the last stages, we’ll first talk a bit about what Parkinson’s is.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s isn’t a cancer or something that is, as far as medical researchers know, passed on from generation to generation. It is a brain disorder in which several areas of the body are affected.
People who have Parkinson’s may first have subtle symptoms of the disorder before it turns into a full blown problem.
What are the Symptoms?
Since Parkinson’s is a disorder that progresses with time, the first symptoms someone might experience are very unnoticeable. For instance, you may find that your hand shakes, but because you’re getting older, you may think that this is not a big deal.
In fact, it may be a sign that you have Parkinson’s. Other symptoms people experience early on with the disorder include muscle stiffness, a tremor in a hand, leg or foot, and exhaustion. Since stiffness and exhaustion can be associated with arthritis, some are incorrectly diagnosed with arthritis when in fact they have Parkinson’s.
As the disorder progresses, so do the symptoms. Common symptoms with a later stage of Parkinson’s include drooling, loss of appetite, trembling muscles, a stiffness affecting most of the body, rigid posture and a generally slower body movement.
Walking may be unbalanced and the head may shake. It is usually during this stage that Parkinson’s is diagnosed.
What Does the Final Stage Consist of?
When a person is near the end of their battle with Parkinson’s, the disease just gets worse. They begin to lose their ability to control movements (they often make involuntary movements with their legs and hands), and the intellect of the person is greatly affected. This explains why people in the final stages of Parkinson’s often talk very little and cannot finish simple sentences.
Additionally, during the final stage of this disease, patients may begin to show signs of dementia in that they do not recognize the people who are closest to them.
What are the Causes?
At present time, the cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown.
Is it Treatable?
Sadly, a lot is unknown about Parkinson’s. It is very much a disease that is not very well understood by researchers, and as such, there is not cure at the moment. There are experimental treatments being tested, but none are medically proven to be effective.
These treatments typically consist of medications and therapy. If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it is worth talking to the doctor about these potential treatments. They may or may not slow the harmful effects of Parkinson’s, but they’re certainly worth trying.
Did you like this article? Then you'll really want to sign up for my newsletter. It's delivered several times a week and packed with science news and analysis. Subscribe Here.