Parkinson’s Disease: What Is It And How To Best Manage It

You have probably heard about Parkinson’s disease somewhere and wondered what it is and how to best manage it. Parkinson’s disease is a gradual deteriorating condition of the brain that causes tremors, balance problems, progressive disability, slowed movement, and more.
According to research, it affects over 1% of people over the age of 60 and has no cure, although its symptoms can be significantly improved with proper medication.
In this article, we’ll be educating you on Parkinson’s disease, what it is, and how to best manage it. 

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a type of disorder (gradually worsening with time) that affects the nervous system of the human body. It is a condition that causes part of your brain to deteriorate, which then leads to more serious symptoms as time goes by. 
While Parkinson’s disease is known to affect one’s movement, balance, and ability to control their muscles, it can also affect their senses, mental health, and ability to think.
A person with Parkinson’s disease can start experiencing little or no expression on their face, less swinging of their arms when they walk, and slurred or soft speech when they talk. These symptoms then worsen as the disease progresses over time. 

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease occurs when the nerve cells that produce dopamine in your brain become impaired or die. Once these nerve cells become die or become impaired, the level of dopamine in the brain decreases. This then leads to poor brain activity as well as the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. 
Also, when the nerve endings that produce the chemical norepinephrine get damaged, it can contribute to some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This is because the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the blood pressure and heart rate, gets affected, which leads to symptoms like irregular blood pressure, fatigue, a poor digestive process, e.t.c. 
Although the cause of Parkinson’s disease is not known, scientists and researchers have attributed it to specific genetic changes (which are extremely rare) and environmental factors. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease?

Although the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease differ among individuals, it is known that it usually starts with subtle symptoms before progressing and developing into motor problems.
Some of the known subtle symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
i. Anosmia (Decreased sense of smell)
ii. Voice changes
iii. Constipation
iv. Little or no facial expression
iv. Tremor
v. Sleep disturbances
vi. Stooped posture
Motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
i. Tremor
ii. Problems with balance
iii. Slow movements
iv. Stiffness of legs and arms
Other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
i. Difficulty swallowing
ii. Drooling
iii. Small or cramped handwriting
iv. Impaired balance and posture
v. Hallucinations
vi. Psychosis
vii. Anxiety
viii. Depression
ix. Memory problems

How Can One Best Manage Parkinson’s Disease?

Although there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, its symptoms can be managed and improved with medication.
Some of the drugs that are effective in managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
i. Levodopa. One of the most common medications used for people with Parkinson’s disease is Levodopa. When used, it helps to refill dopamine in the body, and according to studies, over 75% of people with Parkinson’s disease respond to Levodopa when used as a treatment. 
Levodopa is usually administered with Carbidopa. This allows the breakdown of Levodopa to be delayed, which in turn increases its availability at the blood-brain barrier. 
ii. Amantadine(Symmetrel). Sometimes, involuntary movements can occur when Levodopa is used by a person with Parkinson’s disease. What Amantadine (Symmetrel) does is provide short-term relief for those involuntary movements.
iii. CONT Inhibitors. Catechol O- methyltransferase inhibitors like Tolcapone and Entacapone (Contain) can also be administered to persons with Parkinson’s disease, as they help prolong the effect of Levodopa in the body. 
iv. Dopamine agonists. When administered, Dopamine agonists perform the function of dopamine in the human brain. Although they are not as efficient as Levodopa, they can still be used in cases or situations where Levodopa is less effective. Some drugs that fall under the category of Dopamine
Antagonists include pramipexole, bromocriptine, and ropinirole. 

Note: It is not advisable to attempt to use any of the drugs mentioned above without first consulting a doctor or health specialist. 

What You Should Do When You Notice Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

When you start noticing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the first thing you should do is visit a health care center or health care provider for a diagnosis, as the symptoms can either be a sign that you have Parkinson’s disease or a sign that you do not. 
Your health care provider will guide you and provide you with more information on what to do. 


Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system of the human body and causes part of the brain to deteriorate. It is caused by a decrease in the level of dopamine and is more likely to affect about 1% of people over the age of 60. While there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, there are medications, as well as brain-stimulation implant surgery that can be used to improve its symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does one get Parkinson’s disease?

There is no known reason as to what causes Parkinson’s disease, but according to research, about 10% of individuals with Parkinson’s disease inherited it from either one or both of their parents, while for the other 90% of individuals, their reasons for suffering from Parkinson’s disease are unknown. 

How do I know I have Parkinson’s disease?

There are different ways you can detect if you have Parkinson’s disease. Some of the early signs and symptoms of the disease include stooped posture, tremor, constipation, voice changes, decreased sense of smell, sleep disturbances, little or no facial expression, and more. Late signs and symptoms you might notice include slow movements, stiffness of legs and arms, problems with balance, depression, hallucinations, small or cramped handwriting, etc.

Is Parkinson’s disease deadly?

While Parkinson’s disease is generally not considered deadly, its symptoms can actually create problems that are deadly to an individual.

Is there a cure for Parkinson’s disease?

As of the time of writing this article, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease. Its symptoms can, however, be managed and improved with proper care and medication.