The Physiology of Parkinson’s Disease Essay

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The Physiology of Parkinson’s Disease Essay

The Physiology of Parkinson’s Disease Essay

Case Study

Dara Cris, a sixty-three-year-old European American woman, came into the emergency room accompanied by her son. She complained of uncontrollable shaking. Tremors in her right hand made routine activities, such as dressing up and eating, more complicated. Dara could not write properly also. She even had problems with reading if the book was not placed on the table or another stable surface that allowed her not to hold it in her hands.

It was difficult for her to use the telephone, as her muscles became weak rather fast. Still, this symptom was mostly obvious at rest. Except for that, the conversation partners could hardly understand her low and indistinct voice. That is why Dara felt rather confused when being alone in the public places. She also suffered from hypertension for more than five years. The physician examined her and noticed that Dara used to start doing some things and then made pauses as she seemed to get tired in a minute and not be able to continue. The Physiology of Parkinson’s Disease Essay

For example, she stopped when walking and getting up from a chair and continued only when her son assisted. The physician asked if someone in her family suffered from Parkinson’s disease and hypertension. It turned out that her parents had high blood pressure, and her father started to reveal first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease when he was thirty-five years old. The examination focused on muscle efficiency, deep tendon reflexes, and coordination, which turned out to be diminished.

On the basis of the received information, the physician diagnosed Dara with Parkinson’s disease and also advised to take carbidopa-levodopa and get a follow-up appointment to make sure. He explained that it was a degenerative condition that affected her ability to control and coordinate movement, underlying that the treatment existed even though there was no cure. The physician advised taking carbidopa-levodopa, neural nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, physical therapy, and consultations with a speech-language pathologist. He also presupposed the possibility of stem cells injection, which is a new but promising kind of treatment.The Physiology of Parkinson’s Disease Essay

Normal Physiology

Parkinson’s disease is known as “a progressive, idiopathic, neurodegenerative disease associated with four cardinal motoric signs: akinesia/ bradykinesia, rest tremor, cogwheel rigidity and postural instability” (Mandir & Vaughan, 2000, p. 270). It has a negative influence on the nervous system and the brain. Normally, the substantia nigra produces dopamine molecules that fit into receptors on the nerve cells so that they stimulate it to communicate the message and make the body move.

 If a person is healthy, one’s nerve cells transmit impulses due to the slender they have and release the dopamine molecules after this procedure. Being back in the synapse, molecules are recycled so that the next message can be transferred again. However, if a person has Parkinson’s disease, one’s nerve cells cannot maintain such functions decently. Deep in the brain, they start dying off, which leads to the loss of the dopamine (Mori, Nishie, Kakita, & Yoshimoto, 2006). The Physiology of Parkinson’s Disease Essay

After that, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease occur. A person notices a tremor, stiffness, poor coordination, and bradykinesia. The amount of glutamate increases, trying to compensate the shortfall. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals and scientists have not found out yet why such things happen to some people. Still, they believe it can be caused by sporadic genetic factors, developed due to the environmental peculiarities or senescence (Calì, Ottolini, & Brini, 2014). Secondary forms of the disease can be caused by some medications as well (López-Sendón, Mena, & Yébenes, 2012).

Clinical Manifestations

Parkinson’s disease is rather difficult to diagnose because it entails a wide variety of symptoms that tend to differ from one patient to another. Except for that, people often overlook them because the first signs can be rather mild (Rodriguez-Oroz, Jahanshahi, Krack, Litvan, & Macias, 2009). As a rule, the symptoms are noticed on the one side of the body from the very beginning. With the course of time, they affect the whole boy but tend to remain more severe on the side where they occurred from the inception (Jankovic, 2008). The Physiology of Parkinson’s Disease Essay