Early signs of Parkinson’s Disease

A neurological movement disorder that is caused due to an anomaly in one’s nervous system, especially the brain and its different parts. This illness is typical of shakiness and visible reduction in seamless and free movement of one’s limbs. It is also significantly characterised by shakiness in the hands, tremors, lack of flexibility, cramps and muscle stiffness. Parkinson’s disease is also noticed predominantly rampant amongst the elderly population particularly those above the age of 60 years. The disease most often affects one side of the person’s body more intensely than the other.

Although highly common amongst older people, it often is not clearly understood by masses due it is subtle or unnoticeable early signs of development. This article intends to impart important information regarding Parkinson’s Disease and the early signs of the disease so that you are well-informed for any unforeseen instance that may occur to you or your near and dear ones.

This particular disease is highly prevalent amongst elderly people and some of the most commonly noticed early symptoms are as follows:

  • Stiffness in limbs or slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • A significantly stooped posture
  • Uncontrollable,  movements during sleep
  • Tremors in hands or foot
  • Cramped handwriting or other writing changes

The above-mentioned symptoms are further elucidated along with various other symptoms for the further understanding of how and why they may occur in people affected by the disease, Parkinson’s.

  • Change in handwriting
    A significant change in the size of your handwriting could be an early indicator of the Parkinson’s disease as it is common for people suffering from the disease to lose or lack control over their hands/fingers that result in hindering their writing skills. The lack of coordination of the brain and fluctuating signals sent to the brain cause the person to lose finer motor skills thus affecting their writing skills.
  • Stiffness & Slow movement
    Most people suffering from PD complain of stiffness in their muscles especially in the limbs and feet along with slowing down of movements in the limbs in general.
    Stiffness of the limbs (rigidity) and slow movement (bradykinesia) appear early on with PD. These manifestations are induced by the impairment of the neurons that regulate movement. Someone suffering of PD is likely to suffer from constant jerking of the body parts and  may also develop a characteristic called the “shuffling gait.”
  • Tremors
    Tremor is one of the most common and perhaps the most identifiable sign of Parkinson’s disease and is characterized by a slight twitching movement or shaking of a finger, hand, or the foot. This shaking motion is likely to graduate into a more noticeable one, as the condition progresses and is easily detected when the person is at rest.
  • Sleep disorders or Insomnia
    It’s a whole world of frustration when it comes to a person sleeping after being affected by the Parkinson’s disease. Uncontrollable movements, that are involuntary occur on a regular basis. Thrashing, kicking, swinging your arms, and rolling out of the bed can be indications of a serious problem.
  • Masking
    Parkinson’s disease can affect the actual facial expressions along with one’s gross and fine motor skills. They may also have a “blank look” most of the time and this phenomenon is called masking. The condition can take control of small muscles in the face highly difficult making it difficult to even blink or smile.
  • Posture
    Postures don’t change overnight and they change in small ways at first, and will gradually worsen. It may begin with a stooped posture such as slouching or leaning and they qualify as an early indicator of PD. It is directly related to the loss of coordination and balance affecting the body.

There are several other early signs of the Parkinson’s Disease and these are the most predominantly noticed early signs of the disease that you must keep an eye out for especially if you inhabit with persons belonging to the age group who might be likely to develop this disease.

What causes tremors in the Parkinson’s disease?

There are several health conditions and diseases that prevail arbitrarily but are often unseen or are unnoticed due to the lack of awareness or the right knowledge about some of these conditions leading to the failure of detecting such cases.

Parkinson’s disease is one such disease that may be rampant yet lacks full awareness regarding the same. It is a progressive nervous system ailment that generally affects a person’s movement. Symptoms vary from one person to another and often begin at the limbs. One of the most commonly noticed symptoms in a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease is tremors. The tremors are further followed by stiffness or slowing of physical movement.

One of the most noticeable forms of tremors of Parkinson’s is the ‘resting tremors’. The cause of these tremors is often associated with the complex interactions between multiple factors. An observable anomaly in the cognitive activity that includes substantia nigra, thalamus and the basal ganglia results in the consecutive changes in the level of the neurotransmitters named dopamine alongside its actions. Since they are known to be correlated and work in tandem with one another, any alteration in these processes causes a high possibility of tremors. These tremors are predominantly occurring or affect the arms, jaws, legs or the feet and they are significantly prominent on one side than the other.

These are some characteristics of the Parkinson’s Disease’s tremors that you might need to be aware of:

  • Tremors of Parkinson’s Disease typically occur when at rest and stop with voluntary action and they recur until you hold the new position that you may have decided to settle with.
  • The tremors are known to affect one’s hand in the earlier stages before it affects any other part of the body and visually appears as if you are rolling a tiny object between your index finger and the thumb. This motion is the reason why it’s called the pin-rolling tremor.
  • Shaking tremors are yet another type of tremors that people with Parkinson’s Disease are affected with which often results in hands and fingers trembling or shaking involuntarily.

The most common query regarding this disease is “What causes the tremors?”

Researchers claim that one of the pivotal causes of Parkinson’s disease is due to the decrease in the level of dopamine, an eminent neurotransmitter that aids motor movements of the body. When someone is affected by PD, the substantia nigra, a dedicated region of the brain stem for production of dopamine get affected and ceases to function. The drop in dopamine levels is observed to have commenced years before the onset of the disease in an individual. This subsequently affects different aspects of movements such as:

  • Voluntary Movements
    Activities such as holding a pen or a cup fall under voluntary movements and it generally is known to receives and responds to dopamine, and, when there is a drop in the level of dopamine, it doesn’t allow one you to function as it should.
  • Complex Movements
    The thalamus and the subthalamic nucleus is responsible for allowing you to perform slightly complex tasks such as stirring sugar with a spoon, zipping a big, etc. When the levels of dopamine reach a critically low level, the thalamus loses its normal regulatory input disabling you to perform these tasks with seamlessness.
  • Coordinated Movements
    The cerebellum is known to aid in coordination, while the motor portion of your cerebral cortex regulates voluntary movements of your body. Both these parts receive signals about your body’s position from the thalamus and perform these coordinated physical movements. Lack of the signal reaching your brain leads to tremors while performing complex tasks.

It may appear that dopamine is the only reason why one might suffer from tremors of the Parkinson’s Disease but it may not be the case entirely. Science is trying to find more accurate reasons and causes for which these tremors may occur. However, there are several treatments available for this disease which include medications that increase and improve the action of dopamine, along with some surgical interventions. In case, you have PD, you must know that there is a lot of research and progress that’s being made in identifying the causes and generating new treatment options to help manage the symptoms of your condition.

Alzheimer’s Disease

World Alzheimer's Day

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. 
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.

Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information.
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information because Alzheimer’s changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

Microscopic changes in the brain begin long before the first signs of memory loss.The brain has 100 billion nerve cells (neurons). Each nerve cell connects with many others to form communication networks. Groups of nerve cells have special jobs. Some are involved in thinking, learning and remembering. Others help us see, hear and smell.
Scientists believe Alzheimer’s disease prevents parts of a cell’s factory from running well. They are not sure where the trouble starts. But just like a real factory, backups and breakdowns in one system cause problems in other areas. As damage spreads, cells lose their ability to do their jobs and, eventually die, causing irreversible changes in the brain.

Cardiorespiratory Fitness linked with Executive Brain Function

The new study, from a team at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, reveals a connection between brain activation, cardiorespiratory fitness, and executive function in older adults. Higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults can improve executive function in the brain. Executive functions include the ability to reason, problem-solve, and manage multiple priorities.

OCD- Just a Habit or a Neurological Disorder?

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Everyone double checks things sometimes. For example, you might double check to make sure the stove or iron is turned off before leaving the house.Vikram hospital which is famous for neurosurgery in Bangalore is researching over OCD, But people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) feel the need to check things repeatedly, or have certain thoughts or perform routines and rituals over and over. The thoughts and rituals associated with OCD cause distress and get in the way of daily life.
The frequent upsetting thoughts are called obsessions. To try to control them, a person will feel an overwhelming urge to repeat certain rituals or behaviors called compulsions. People with OCD can’t control these obsessions and compulsions. Most of the time, the rituals end up controlling them.
Traditionally it has been thought that there are four main categories of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

1.Checking- the need to check is the compulsion, the obsessive fear might be to prevent damage, fire, leaks or harm. The checking is often carried out multiple times, sometimes hundreds of times, and for hours on end, resulting in the person being late for work, dates and other appointments. Common checking includes gas/electric stove knobs, water taps, door locks, lights, wallet and so on.
2.Contamination – The need to clean and wash is the compulsion, the obsessive fear is that something is contaminated and/or may cause illness, and ultimately death, to a loved one or oneself. For example fear of using public toilets, touching doors, shaking hands, visiting hospitals, eating in restaurants, being in a crowd and so on. Feelings of mental contamination can be evoked by times when a person perhaps felt badly treated, physically or mentally. The person will engage in repetitive and compulsive attempts to wash the dirt away by showering and washing which is where the similarities with traditional contamination OCD return.
3.Hoarding - Another obsession long considered to be part of ‘OCD’ is the inability to discard useless or worn out possessions, commonly referred to as ‘hoarding’.
4.Ruminations / Intrusive Thoughts - In the context of OCD a rumination is actually a train of prolonged thinking about a question or theme that is undirected and unproductive. Many ruminations dwell on religious, philosophical, or metaphysical topics, such as the origins of the universe, life after death, the nature of morality, and so on. Intrusive thoughts, in the spectrum of OCD, are where a person generally suffers with obsessional thoughts that are repetitive, disturbing and often horrific and repugnant in nature. For example, thoughts of causing violent or sexual harm to loved ones.

OCD sometimes runs in families, but no one knows for sure why some people have it while others don’t. Researchers are also looking for ways in which stress and environmental factors may play a role. For many people, OCD starts during childhood or the teen years. Most people are diagnosed by about age 19. OCD is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. So if you experience such symptoms too, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. Control your obsessions before they take total control over you!

In How Many Ways Are You Intelligent?

According to Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences- Each individual possesses a unique blend of all the intelligences. Just like every individual has different DNA structure or fingerprint or behavior from the others, his/her level of intelligence varies to.  Gardener chose nine abilities that define different kinds of intelligence an individual can possess to varied degrees and share different ways to become intelligent.If you are searching for neurosurgery in Bangalore than you can visit the site

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1.      Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)

This intelligence designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.

2.       Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)

Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.  This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.

3.       Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.

4.       Existential Intelligence

Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

5.       Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.  It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians, all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

6.       Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)

Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills.  This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.  Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

7.       Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.

8.       Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)

Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.

9.       Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.  Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.