Parkinson’s disease is an age-related brain disorder in which the parts of the brain deteriorate, eventually leading to unintended body movements such as tremors, shaking, balance issues, thinking ability, and mental health.
The four leading causes of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Tremors in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
- Muscle stiffness, the muscle remains contracted for a longer time
- Slow of movement
- Impaired balance and coordination, often leading to falls
Other symptoms include:
- Urinary problems
- Skin problems
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing.
The cause remains unknown. However, the primary reason for Parkinson’s disease is believed to be due to a combination of factors like genetic and environmental.
The diagnosis is primarily dependent on the symptoms you exhibit. Your doctor will ask specific questions and reviews the medical history. Your doctor would recommend some lab tests such as:
- Blood tests (these can help rule out other forms of parkinsonism)
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan helps your doctor rule out the other conditions that might cause the symptoms.
- Genetic testing: This test helps your doctor estimate your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps your doctor rule out the other conditions that might cause the symptoms
- A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is used to assess the activity and function of brain regions involved in a movement.
To manage Parkinson’s Disease, your specialist will prescribe effective medication or surgery based on the symptoms.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most performed surgical treatment option for Parkinson’s disease. The surgeon places thin metal wires in the brain to send electrical pulses to the brain that helps control some motor symptoms (tremors, shaking, slowness, etc.).
The current stimulates the brain cells in that specific area, which can help with several symptoms that are caused due to Parkinson’s disease. The current passes and reaches your brain through the wires attached to a small device implanted underneath your skin near your collarbone.
Before the surgery, your doctor will insert an intravenous (IV) line to give you IV fluids. An IV line also allows them to administer the medications during the procedure.
DBS has several advantages. These include:
- Offers a treatment option when medications are not working
- Improvement from the symptoms
Post-operative care tips:
Your doctor will give you certain instructions on how to take care of the areas where you had surgery. You must follow the following:
- The stitches or staples will be removed 10 to 14 days post-surgery
- The pin sites on your head should be covered with bandages until they are dried up
- Replace the bandages at least once a day (or as per the doctor’s instruction)
- Dressing can come off two days after the surgery; let the water run over your head and avoid scratching.