Celsey and Chylee
*John, 55 years old, comes in to your office with his wife,
Rita. She is concerned because she has seen some
changes in her husband. She reports that at some points
he seems to be moving in slow motion. Getting dressed
and ready to leave the house in the morning seems to
take longer every day. She has also noticed that he often
loses his balance and when he thinks she is not looking,
he often keeps a hand on the wall for support. John
keeps relatively quiet and when asked, claims nothing is
wrong, but as he passes you his paperwork, you notice
that his hand is shaking. You look down at the paper and
notice that his handwriting is so tiny that it’s almost
*Age: 55
*“moving in slow motion”
*Getting dressed and ready to leave the
house takes longer every day
*Frequent loss of balance
*Shaky hands
*Tiny handwriting
*The patient was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
*In order to diagnose a patient with PD, a neurologist
come to a conclusion based on patient symptoms and a
physical examination. Although this disease can be hard to
accurately diagnose, the exam may show changes in heart
rate, shaking, muscle loss, jerky or stiff movements, and
difficulty beginning or finishing a movement. Symptoms
typically become more obvious as the disease worsens,
and brain scans and laboratory tests may be requested to
rule out other possible diseases.
Disease, or PD, is a neurological motor
system disorder, which results from the loss of brain
cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that helps
send messages to the muscles. PD often develops after
the age 50 and includes symptoms that affect muscle
movement: tremors, slowed movement, stiff muscles,
impaired posture or balance, loss of automatic
movements, and speech and writing changes.
Symptoms may also include anxiety, stress, confusion,
and fainting.
*Parkinson’s Disease both persists over a long period of time
and progressively gets worse. While Parkinson’s Disease is
incurable, medication can help control symptoms and allow
the disease to become manageable. These medications may
control tremors and troubles with movement, mood and
sleep problems, and pain relief. The intensity of symptoms
may vary from person to person, and treatment plans are
often individualized. There are also many lifestyle changes
that patients may adapt, such as exercising more and
participating in physical therapy. In extreme cases, surgery
may be required in order to ease symptoms. If it is left
untreated, PD will successively worsen, totally disabling the
patient and may even lead to an early death.
use a chemical called
dopamine to help control muscle
movement. However, when a
patient suffers from PD, they
deterioration in these brain cells
in the substantia nigra part of
the brain. This lack of dopamine
results in abnormal nerve
impossible to send messages to
*Neurologists are physicians who study diseases and
injuries of the brain and nervous system. A neurologist
would be the chief physician to accurately diagnose a
patient with a disease like PD.
*Physical therapists help injured or ill patients improve
their movement and manage pain. PTs could help
patients diagnosed with PD by providing physical
therapy for those who suffer from difficulty moving, bad
balance, and stiff muscles.