Parkinson’s disease (fluttering paralysis) – degenerative neurological pathology. Nowadays Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed more often than 50 years ago. But this is due not to the fact that the disease is progressing, but to the fact that people are more likely to get it after 50-60 years, and even more often 70-80 years. As life expectancy has increased over the last half a century, the number of people diagnosed with this disease has also increased. At present, about 1% of the world population suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease can begin with a variety of symptoms. At the same time, symptoms may be associated with disorders of motor, intellectual activity, and functions that, at first glance, are not related to the nervous system, but relate to the digestive tract and even the nose. What symptoms most often worry Parkinson’s disease sufferers?
- Tremor at rest (in a calm state – sitting, lying down, a person starts to shiver, the shiver goes away). Especially often, the problem starts with the tremor of the hands and the head.
- Leg stiffness. A person can’t walk quickly – but not because he has shortness of breath (as it happens with diseases of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems), it is difficult for him to control the work of his muscles. In this case, you can often hear “legs do not obey”.
- Problems with keeping the balance.
- Violations of blood circulation.
- Chronic constipation.
- Violations of the so-called fast sleep phase: at the moment of falling asleep, a person behaves not just restlessly, but actively – up to the point that causes self-injuries. However, after waking up, a person can not remember about it.
- Loss of sense of smell.
But despite the general symptoms, the development of the disease in young and old, men and women have some differences. And the differences concern both the progression of the disease, and the very first symptoms. Let us consider these differences in detail.
Symptoms of the disease in young men and women
If Parkinson’s disease began to develop at the age of 20-40 years, its progression (in the absence of treatment) – very rapid.
The disease begins in young people, as a rule, with muscle problems. The first signs of pathology in young people are most often involuntary muscle contractions in the shoulders and feet. At first, they can be described simply as unpleasant, and then – as very painful feelings. And sometimes, the patient does not understand that it is the muscles that contract: it seems to him that the joints hurt. He begins to use ointments for arthritis, but the result is not just no, it is the opposite of what he wants: the pain increases. That is why, if there are such signs, it is important to see a doctor immediately.
Symptoms of disease in the elderly
In older people, the disease at the beginning of the disease is slower. If the disease develops after 60 years, sometimes 10 years pass from the first symptoms to the diagnosis. And this is a great danger. After all, the earlier to identify the disease and begin treatment, the higher the chances that it will be possible to take measures that will prevent a person from losing capacity. Most often, the disease in old age begins with changes in the gait. A person begins to accelerate and at the same time shorten the steps. Often, this gait is called a seed gait. Another feature of Parkinson’s disease in older people is the “disguise” of the disease under other diseases: for example, pathologies of the cardiovascular system. But there are differences. For example, if we are talking about problems with blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease sufferers fall more often only when a person stands, walks, and in a state of rest the pressure stabilizes.
Symptoms of the disease in women
Women more often than men already at the initial stage of the disease show the following signs: neck muscles tension, which at first is difficult (without special examination) to distinguish from the signs of osteochondrosis and periarthritis; decreased intelligence; strong emotional depression; suicidal thoughts (especially in menopause); expressive painful manifestations, starting from the shoulder and neck area, etc., etc.
Symptoms of disease in men
Many men have Parkinson’s disease from the beginning accompanied by problems with potency. This is due to the fact that an erection is in the direct control of the autonomic system, one of the parts of the nervous system. One more characteristic feature is the difficulty of controlling the hands while walking. If a healthy person, while walking, instinctively flexes his hands in his elbows, often waving his hands (which is important for effective movement and energy conservation), then in case of Parkinson’s disease, a lot of effort is required to perform these actions. As in women, men suffering from Parkinson’s disease have a worse emotional background. But instead of oppression, men become overly aggressive and angry.