Today is World Parkinson’s Day, which aims to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease, which still has no cure. The prevalence of Parkinson in China reaches 36%, followed by India (30%) and Indonesia (7%). Parkinson is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, and in most cases, its cause remains unknown. While it is unknown exactly why people develop the condition, experts believe that the combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the damage of nerve cells in the brain.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological condition, which means that over time the brain of an individual living with the disease becomes more damaged. A person living with Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have enough of the chemical dopamine in their brain. Dopamine is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells in the brain. When an individual experience a loss of nerve cells in the brain, this causes a reduction in the quantity of dopamine in the brain.
Parkinson’s disease causes problems with movement and results in stiffness and slow movement. The disease is such that it progresses gradually, beginning with minor tremors in hand. In the early stages, the disease makes your face unable to show any expression. Arms stop swinging as you walk, and speech becomes soft or slurred. The disease worsens as the condition progresses over time.
Increase in incidence of diseases like Parkinson’s disease is mostly because of poor lifestyle, specifically poor diet. Increase in consumption of junk foods, processed and packaged foods and carbonated drinks, lack of exercise, lack of proper sleep, excessive stress can together have an adverse impact on your brain health and lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- If you have a close relation with someone who has Parkinson’s disease, you’re at higher risk of it and the best way to prevent it is to live a healthy lifestyle.
- A few dietary changes can also help prevent Parkinson’s disease. Substitute regular consumption of junk and processed foods to a healthy and nutritious diet. Foods like leafy green veggies, fruits, protein-rich foods, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and good fats can help in improving brain health and reduce risk of Parkinson’s disease.
- Exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are definitely at lower risk of developing Parkinson. Moving your body increases blood flow to your brain. This increases oxygen production in the brain, which in turn triggers biochemical changes that protect new neurons.
- Take proper sleep. A healthy sleep is one of the most essential need of Parkinson’s disease. When you sleep, your brain processes information, clears out toxins and consolidates memories. Not getting enough sleep doesn’t give your brain the time to perform its essential activities and makes room for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.
- Stress harms you in more ways than you can imagine. Chronic stress can disrupt regular brain activity and result in Parkinson’s disease. Long-term stress can in fact be toxic for the brain and you must make efforts to take less stress. You should try to change your attitude towards stressful situations and try not to give reaction to every stressful situation that occurs in your life. Indulge in activities that you enjoy and do some yoga or meditation to keep excess stress at bay.
Lack of awareness about Parkinson’s disease may result in the disease becoming a major healthcare challenge in the near future. Hence, on World Parkinson’s Day 2019, let’s take a look at the causes, symptoms and tips for prevention of Parkinson’s disease.