Parkinson's disease is a chronic neurological disorder that usually begins between the ages of forty and seventy. Today there are more than five million patients with this disease in the world with an incidence of one in 100 people over the age of 60.
The main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are visible motoric disturbances in performing normal movements. Resting tremor can be noticed and it indicates uncontrolled movements of the extremities mainly at rest with a stop during the performance of an action. In addition, bradykinesia is typical; slowness of movement and loss of spontaneous and wanted movements. As part of this, the patient can observe a reduced expression of the face, slow monotonous speech, slow walking with small steps and meager movements of the hands. Unusual stiffness of the extremities or part of the body is called rigor and as a result of which the extremities or the whole body is more difficult to move and because of that the patient's posture is bent and it is difficult to get up from a sitting position. Parkinson's disease can also cause postural instability, i.e. difficulty maintaining balance and coordination disorders.
There is no safe and objective test to confirm the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (more in the blog article everything you need to know about Parkinson's disease) but in this sense it relies on the existence of a typical clinical picture and a positive response to treatment with specific drugs. In daily clinical practice it is noticed that some patients and their relatives do not pay attention to symptoms such as tremors and slowness of movements for a long time because of thinking that it is a normal aging process. Likewise, there is more and more evidence that as part of Parkinson's disease, in addition to the usual motoric symptoms there are also other non-motoric symptoms that often go unrecognized and cause significant problems in an individual's daily life.
Therefore, it is extremely important to make the public aware of the need for timely detection of symptoms that require medical attention in order to influence the quality of life of people with Parkinson's disease as early as possible.
In addition to Parkinson's disease, the group of primary parkinsonism also includes the group of "atypical" parkinsonian disorders. Atypical parkinsonism known as parkinsonism plus syndromes are characterized by rapidly progressive parkinsonian symptoms particularly rigor and bradykinesia often with early development of postural instability (within 3 years of symptom onset), a weaker or transient response to dopaminergic therapy and other associated signs such as vertical gaze paralysis, early disorder of autonomic functions and symptoms of motoric and cerebellar function disorders. These include multiple system atrophy (MSA), Lewy body dementia (LBD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD).