The two most important parts of our body are a) brain and b) heart. While the heart is vital for existence of life, the brain is equally important for the function of our body. The nerve centre is basically responsible for the function of our brain. If the nerve centre is affected, we will face with two critical diseases, viz.a) Alzheimer’s disease and b) Parkinson’s disease. Many people might know what the Alzheimer disease is but whereas the Parkinson’s disease is not known to many. This Parkinson’s disease is due to reduction of dopamine hormone in the nervous system.
When Parkinson’s disease affects a person, it will reduce the function of the muscular movement in our joints, head and neck. When it gets aggravated, basic movements such as standing, walking, handling articles with our hands etc. including balancing our body will be terribly reduced. Though this disease is not fully curable, we can reduce the intensity of the impact through physiotherapy.
Neuro physiotherapist Famida says that Parkinson’s disease is normally due to old age, genetic disorder and family circumstances, though no specific reason can be cited. Comparatively speaking, people above 50 are likely to get affected with this disease and that too, men are normally the victims. As a result of this, the affected people will not be able to speak or write or hold a thing properly owing to nervousness. They cannot speak coherently or briefly and their hand- writing will be improper with their attention being disturbed all the time.
Further, Dr.Balamurugan, the neurophysician briefs the following points:-
* Body function – shaking of fingers, change in general body function, slowness in doing any action, feeling of hunch and difficulty in walking
* Skill-related defects – sudden reduction in the ability to carry out any function that the body can normally do
* Communication problems – difficulty in speaking and writing, incoherence in speaking, scribbling while writing
* Sleeping disorder – sudden waking up from the sleep and sleepnessness
* Vision problems – lack of identification and understanding while seeing any object. These symptoms may vary from person to person owing to several factors.
Northwestern Medicine and the University of Colorado School of Medicine has revealed in their recent research that it is possible to lessen the intensity of this attack by means of constant physiotherapy and medicine. Tablet L-Dopa is given to increase the dopamine hormone while more and more work is given to the brain. Again there are some physical (not tough exercises like physical exercise and walking) acts based on physiotherapy that would strengthen the muscles. These are the two distinct treatments given to the patients in order to help them effectively manage this.
Physiotherapist Famida mentions a few physiotherapy tips as under:-
* If the patient is not able to hold a thing and walk properly, he/she will be given an object and asked to walk up to the other end and place it properly.
* For some, their handwriting will keep on changing in terms of size of letters in the same sentence. They will be asked to write more and more and in this process, the method of holding the pen will also be strengthened.
* These patients will have the inability to do anything with their eyes closed. Hence they will be asked to close their eyes and touch their nose or stand straight and holding an object etc.
* Speaking therapy will also be given to them so that they will be trained to speak coherently and briefly.
In short, physiotherapy including more work to the body and mind and less rest is the key remedy to this Parkinson’s disease. If more rest is allowed, they will not be again ready for any exercise and hence duration of rest should be carefully monitored. Though physiotherapy is not the complete remedy, it will vastly help a patient to lessen the intensity of this attack. Additionally, if the condition is identified in the early stage itself, it will be possible to manage it comfortably with more confidence. Besides physiotherapy, there is a possibility of surgery in the brain in order to reduce the seriousness; but since it is little risky, surgery is not normally advocated in majority of clinics.
It would be thoroughly informative to listen to the true story of Rangarajan who was running a software company till 1996 in which year he was sadly affected by this Parkinson’s disease. He had enormous will power and determination to fight against the same even by undergoing necessary surgery in 2011. Since the year 1996, he started gathering as much information as possible about this disease, its symptoms, methods of treatment etc. from all possible sources at 360 degree level. To cite an example, he found and used the pace maker and his search is still on. On top of all, he has compiled a detailed book consisting of all the relevant inputs that he had gathered about this disease and this book is soon going to be published by him.
In his autobiography, Rangarajan candidly admits his apprehension that he once had that he might become like a silent plant or a creeper. However, thanks to his innate courage and determination, he was able to keep both his mind and body intact. In addition to this, he penned two novels in English and translated one in Tamil too. He was so focussed that he did not surrender to the impact of the disease. Doubtless that Rangarajan has been successful more due to his faith and courage than the pills and potions including surgery!
(This article written by J Nivetha in Tamil has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)