Definition of "Parkinson's Disease."
It is a defect in the cells of the brain that produce dopamine.
Dopamine is a chemical substance that enables nerve cells to send messages to other nerve cells.
A lack of dopamine causes the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Factors that may increase the risk of Parkinson's disease.
Carbon monoxide or manganese poisoning.
Positive family history.
Signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease (which usually begin slowly on one side).
Muscle rigidity and weakness.
Tremors that decrease on purposeful movements.
Mask-like facial expressions.
Short-term memory loss.
Measures to control or to live with Parkinson's disease.
Exercise daily, with regular rest periods.
Follow safety precautions (remove scatter rugs, install handrails, etc.).
Obtain adequate nutrition. (Provide "Daily Food Guide" handout.)
Eat small, frequent meals to prevent exhaustion.
Eat a high-calorie diet to prevent weight loss. (Provide "Increased Calories" handout.)
Eat a high-fiber diet to prevent constipation. (Provide "Fiber in Diet" handout.)
Include social and diversional activities to promote emotional and physical well-being.
Obtain assistive and self-help devices to promote independence. (Provide "Self-Help" handout.)
Get help as needed (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, visiting nurses, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, etc.).
Obtain emotional support form support groups, spiritual help, counseling, etc., as needed.
Take medication as ordered.
Wear an identification bracelet.
Learn walking techniques.
Walk with feet about 10 inches apart.
Concentrate on swinging the arms and raising the feet when walking.
Possible complications of Parkinson's disease.