Parkinsons disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). The motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease are due to the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra that is a region of the mid brain. The cause of cell death is not known. Early symptoms include rigidity, shaking, slow movement and gait disturbances. Then cognitive and behavioral issues might develop with dementia usually arising in the advanced stages of the disease.
The development of Parkinsons disease and the degree of damage vary from individual to individual. Many people with Parkinsons disease live long productive lives, whereas others become disabled much more quickly. Parkinsons disease is a heterogeneous and genetically complex disorder of largely unknown etiology. It is the second most common neuro degenerative disease in the general population. Approximately four million people worldwide are estimated to be living with Parkinsons disease. Incidence of Parkinsons increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50. Adult-onset Parkinsons disease is most common, but early-onset Parkinsons disease (onset between 21-40 years), and juvenile-onset Parkinsons disease (onset before age 21) also exist.
Signs and symptoms
Characteristic motor symptoms include the following:
- Postural instability
- Parkinsonian gait: Individuals with more progressive Parkinsons disease develop a distinctive shuffling walk with a stooped position and a diminished or absent arm swing. It may become difficult to start walking and to make turns. Individuals may freeze in mid-stride and appear to fall forward while walking.
Most people with Parkinsons disease have idiopathic Parkinsons disease (having no specific known cause). A small proportion of cases, however, can be attributed to known genetic factors. Other factors have been associated with the risk of developing PD, but no causal relationship has been proven.
An early and accurate diagnosis of Parkinsons disease is important in developing good treatment strategies to maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible. A physician will diagnose Parkinsons disease from the medical history and a neurological examination. There is no lab test that will clearly identify the disease, but brain scans and other laboratory tests are sometimes used to rule out disorders that could give rise to similar symptoms.
Patients may be given levodopa and resulting relief of motor impairment tends to confirm diagnosis. Individuals may sometimes be misdiagnosed as having another disorder, and sometimes individuals with Parkinson-like symptoms may be inaccurately diagnosed as having Parkinsons disease. It is therefore important to re-evaluate individuals in the early phase on a regular basis to rule out other conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms.
Ayurveda Perspective & Management
The parkinson's syndrome was comprehensively described by James Parkinson in 1817 (An Essay on the Shaking Palsy). But the review of much early literature of Ayurveda date back as far as 5000 BC would show that syndrome strikingly similar to Parkinsonism was already known including the treatment with the seeds of a plant containing therapeutic levels of what is today known as levodopa apart from several other preparations. It is known as Kampa vata.
According to Ayurveda, most of the diseases of the Vata are essentially the conditions of degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Kampa vata is one such condition caused by imbalance of Vata. The treatment of kampavata consists of both internal and external administration of drugs in different forms aimed to reverse the vata imbalance.
Ayurveda was found to be an effective treatment for patients with Parkinsons disease. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine. It has an integrated approach to the prevention and treatment of illness and tries to maintain or re-establish the harmony between the mind, body, and forces of nature.
Several Scientific studies and clinical trials have revealed the effectiveness of Ayurveda herbs and preparations, also established the necessity of Ayurvedic cleansing procedures (Panchakarma Therapies) prior to the use of Palliative therapy.
At Vaidya Ayurveda Hospital, we are offering exclusive ayurvedic treatment for Parkinsons disease, Panchakarma therapies for Parkinson's disease and researched internal medicines for treating Parkinsons disease. These are found very effective not only in controlling the symptoms of PD but also in arresting the further progression of the disease. Quality of life can be improved drastically with these custom made therapies.
If the patient is already on Allopathic medication, these treatments and medicines can be comfortably combined with them. Our Ayurveda treatment regime proves effective in controlling the side effects of allopathic medications and even in reducing the dosage of allopathic medications.
If a patient can come in the initial stages or before starting the allopathic medication, the results are wonderful.