Parkinsonism

Difference between parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease

Parkinsonism is not the same as Parkinson's diseaseSometimes Parkinsonism and Parkinson's disease are confused. But this is not the similar notion. Parkinsonism can be observed in a number of other diseases, not only the Parkinson's disease.

The condition causes movement abnormalities that are considered characteristic for Parkinson's disease therefore it acquired the term after it. The patients have tremor, move slowly, suffer from muscle stiffness and have impaired speech. These are the consequences that occur because of lack of dopamine. Therefore such symptoms and Parkinsonism develop. But not only dopamine can cause the symptoms.

Other causes of Parkinsonism comprise:

  • Medicines: compounds in medications that treat psychiatric disorders can cause such reaction;
  • Particular neurodegenerative disorders;
  • Repeated trauma of head;
  • Lewy body dementia.

What is the role of medicines?

If Parkinsonism was induced by drugs, then one should stop taking the medication.

In some types of Parkinsonism medicines can help, such as Carbidopa and Levodopa, taken together.

But these medications are not so effective for some kinds of Parkinsonism.

Levodopa is taken to replenish brain dopamine, which is fundamental to Parkinson's disease. Therefore it is used in Parkinsons disease treatment. But when the patient suffers from other parkinsonian disorders, the medical condition is different and different brain circuits may be affected, not just the dopamine.

Clinical features of parkinsonism

There are 4 clinical features of Parkinsonism:

  1. Hypokinesia or bradykinesia. When there is poverty of voluntary, automatic movements because of defective motor planning. As for the voluntary movements they are reduced, slow, and are not precise enough.
  2. Rigidity. There is increase in tone, limbs are rigid and this is revealed through movement.
  3. Tremor at rest. At first it is noticed only in hands, but with time it extends further going down to lower limbs. More extensive tremor develops then and there is tremor in the lips, tongues and face.
  4. Alteration of posture. The person with parkinsonism stoops forward. Such patients walk with small steps and tries to gain speed at that. In order to achieve faster movement he leans forward therefore the posture of this type is formed.

As far as functional incapacity is concerned, this is a condition with poor prognosis. In advanced cases the drugs do not help. The cause of the disorder can’t be cured, and drugs may just prevent the development but sooner or later it is hard to thwart it.