Timely treatment, therapy, and healthy lifestyle important in managing Parkinson’s disease

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

Caregivers have an important role in helping patients cope with the condition

New Delhi, 13 June 2018: As per a recent study, bacteriophages may have a certain role in the onset of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The research indicates that an abundance of lytic Lactococcus phages was higher in PD patients when compared to healthy individuals. This led to a 10-fold reduction in neurotransmitter-producing Lactococcus, suggesting the possible role of phages in neurodegeneration.
PD is a common chronic degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It is a disabling disease of the ageing population and affects mobility and locomotion. It is classified as a movement disorder. The condition affects over 10 million people in the world and about 1% of the population affected by it is over 60 years of age.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Genetic and environmental factors may be responsible for PD. It can occur in both the young and old. In India, there is very low awareness about this condition, because of which it does not get detected and treated on time. Some primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremor, stiffness, slowness, impaired balance, and a shuffling gait. At a more advanced stage, people can suffer from anxiety, depression, and dementia. It is important to diagnose this condition at the earliest and consult a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders. The good part is that it is possible to manage this condition with timely treatment, therapy, and certain lifestyle changes. Surgery is recommended only in severe cases.”

Some of the major symptoms of this condition include trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face; stiffness in the arms, legs and trunk; slow movement; and poor balance and coordination.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “The caregiver assisting a PD patient should ensure that they are provided with a sense of wellbeing, let them independently handle all that they can, and assist in rehabilitation. Encouraging and supporting PD patients in adhering to the diet and exercise regime prescribed by the neurologist is one of the primary roles of a caregiver. Some general lifestyle changes (rest and exercise), physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can prove beneficial in controlling the symptoms of PD.”

Some diet tips from HCFI
• Eat a variety of foods from each food category, like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. If you think you need vitamin supplements, check with your doctor first.
• Keep your weight in the healthy range for your age and height with exercise and a good diet.
• Load up on fiber with foods like broccoli, peas, apples, cooked split peas and beans, whole-grain breads, cereals, and pasta.
• Cut down on sugar, salt, and saturated fats from meat and dairy, and cholesterol.
• Hydrate yourself well by drinking sufficient water throughout the day.