According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, an estimated 60,000 new Parkinson’s disease diagnoses occur each year in America. They have predicted that almost 1 million Americans will be living with Parkinson’s by the year 2020. The combined indirect and direct costs related to Parkinson’s have been calculated to an astounding $52 billion in the US alone! This includes the lost income, social security payments, and treatments costs resulting from a Parkinson’s diagnoses.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Keeping these statistics in mind, it’s vital that we should have proper information regarding this disease. Basically, Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. It’s a chronic condition that takes years to develop and gets worse with time.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
There are four most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These include the following:
- Slowed Movement (Bradykinesia): This symptom is present in almost every patient of Parkinson’s disease. It involves slowing the movements which make simple tasks time-consuming and difficult.
- Tremor: A tremor is a slight shaking which usually begins in the hands, fingers, thumbs, chin, or other limbs of the body.
- Rigid muscles: The muscles become stiff and painful to move. The range of motion becomes limited.
- Impaired balance and balance: Parkinson’s disease can impair the posture making the patient have trouble with their balance.
It’s almost impossible to diagnose Parkinson’s unless the patient displays at least two of these four common symptoms of the disease. There are certain additional symptoms related to movement, but they vary from patient to patient these include:
- Changes in speech – Hoarse or soft voice and reduced inflections
- Changes in walking – Taking shorter steps or swinging the arms widely while walking.
- Repetitive muscle cramping
- Involuntary twitching and erratic movements
- Changes in handwriting; messy or cramped writing
- Decreased ability to perform automatic movements such as smiling and blinking
Treating Parkinson’s Disease
Currently, the disease is incurable. However, there are certain medications, lifestyle choices, and surgical interventions that can help manage the disease effectively.
Depending on the unique condition of each patient, there are some prescription medications that can help. These include levodopa, which can help form dopamine in the body to control movement symptoms and medical marijuana, which can be legally prescribed in 33 states including Washington DC.
Additionally, there are certain lifestyle changes that can help decrease the risk of Parkinson’s and help improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients. Experts agree that exercising at least 2.5 hours per week can slow down the rate of decline of body functionality among Parkinson’s patients. The earlier in your life you begin regularly exercising such as stretching, yoga, aerobics, jogging, etc., the better chance you have for preventing Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Disease and Medicare
You may qualify for Medicare benefits if you are over the age of 65, living with the disease, and receive Social Security Disability. For more help, get in touch with expert Medicare and health insurance agents at Seniors for Medicare. We offer guidance on the best Medicare Supplement Plans NY for seniors living in New York!
Book a FREE consultation today or call 800-276-1753 to get connected with a licensed agent!