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Yedioth Ahronoth - The Health Supplement - Times Plus 21-04-2021

Much more than vibrations

Depression, pain, constipation and more: the lesser known symptoms of Parkinson's

Parkinson's is a degenerative brain disease that affects the area of ​​the brain that is responsible for the secretion of dopamine - a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating motor functions in the body.

When the secretion of dopamine decreases significantly, a motor disorder is caused and the patient suffers from symptoms such as tremors, slowness, stiffness in movement, impaired walking, falls, frozen facial expression, quiet voice and more.

"What is less well known is that the disease has many characteristics that are not motor, which also result from the degeneration caused by Parkinson's disease, and can even appear many years before the motor signs," says Dr. Tzvia Faye Carmon, senior neurologist, deputy director of the Institute for Movement Disorders at Beit The patients returned.

According to Dr. Fay Carmon, among the non-motor characteristics, one can find a decrease in the sense of smell, constipation, urinary disorders that are manifested by urgency and frequency, a tendency to dizziness and pre-fainting when changing from lying down to standing, disturbed sleep (REM) that is manifested by excessive movements and shouting, a decrease in mood , anxiety, generalized or localized pain, cognitive difficulties, and in some cases even hallucinations and delusions

treat symptoms and not their causes?

"Unfortunately, we still do not know how to cure or stop the development of Parkinson's disease, and when we do not know how to cure a disease, what remains is to treat its symptoms in order to relieve the patients. As mentioned, in recent years, the understanding that emphasis must be placed in treatment not only on the symptoms of motor function, but also on the non-motor symptoms, to allow the patient the best quality of life"

We know why Parkinson's cannot be cured?

"This is a question worth billions. The desire of all the doctors and researchers in the field is to find a way to completely stop or at least delay the development of the disease. A lot of research is being done in the field in an attempt to stop the development of the disease in patients, and perhaps also in people who are still healthy but are at risk of developing it. There is a lot of investment In this field, from many researchers as well as from pharmaceutical companies, with different directions - stopping the degenerative mechanism, treatments based on the patient's genetic characteristics, etc. We all hope that in the coming years a way will be found to delay the development of the disease. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that although we do not yet have a cure the disease, but there are many good treatments for Parkinson's: from the drug treatments given in various pills to advanced treatments with the help of brain pacemakers (DBS) and treatments in which a continuous drug is instilled by a pump, subcutaneously or directly into the intestine. These treatments are very effective in improving the motor disorder. In recent years, there are more And more evidence that the advanced treatments showed a beneficial effect on the non-motor symptoms as well. In short: they can greatly improve the patients' quality of life," she concludes.

April is Parkinson's disease awareness month, from which approximately 30 patients in Israel suffer. The Parkinson's Association in Israel works to improve the well-being of patients' lives. You can learn more about the disease at, or at the Israel Parkinson Association hotline: 054-6125043.