Although many of the motor symptoms can be alleviated with medication, currently, there is no cure for PD. Researchers continue to explore the causes of the disease in hopes that they can identify ways to stop or slow the progression of PD. Surgery is also an option for some patients to provide deep-brain stimulation, which involves the placement of electrodes in the brain to regulate abnormal brain impulses. Although Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurological disorders but there are many misconceptions and myths about Parkinson’s disease.

There are quite a few myths about Parkinson’s disease. Some of the most popular myths about Parkinson’s are:

1. Parkinson’s disease is only a movement-related condition.

Yes, mainly Parkinson’sdisease affects the motor functions but it also affects certain non-motor functions of the human body. Parkinson’s is not only a movement-related condition but a non-movement condition as well.The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, including tremor, rigidity, impaired balance and bradykinesia which is gradual loss of spontaneous movement, are characteristics of the disease. However, there are a number of non-motor symptoms that people with Parkinson’s Disease may also experience. Non-motor symptoms include:

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Depression

REM sleep behavior disorder

Daytime sleepiness

Difficulty swallowing or chewing

Changes to their speech

Urinary incontinence

Constipation

Increased sweating

Increased salivation

Difficulty focusing

Difficulty with visual-spatial relations

Visual Hallucinations

2. Parkinson’s disease always causes a tremor, and tremors are always a sign of Parkinson’s Disease.

Tremor is probably the most well-recognized symptom of Parkinson’s disease. However, not everyone with Parkinson’sDisease experiences tremors. Parkinson’s Disease is highly individualized, appearing with different variations of symptoms and severity in different patients. Tremors can also be caused by other conditions, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, or traumatic brain injury. It is also important to note that the tremor caused by Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by tremor at rest which is shaking when muscles are relaxed and often begins on one side of the body.

3. Parkinson’s disease causes uncontrolled, spontaneous movements.

The uncontrolled movements seen in many patients with Parkinson’s Disease are called dyskinesia, and the disease itself doesn’t cause them. Dyskinesia is a side effect of the medication levodopa that is often used to treat Parkinson’s Disease.

4. Parkinson’s disease only affects one part of the brain: the substantia nigra pars compacta.

While the damage to the neurons also known as the nerve cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta causes the characteristic motor symptoms, such as tremors and rigidity, people with Parkinson’s Disease also experience damage to other areas of the brain, causing assorted motor, cognitive, affective, autonomic and sensory impairments which is not a part of the substantia nigra.

5. If a person has Parkinson’s disease, it explains any symptom they are experiencing.

This is clearly a myth as not every symptom experienced by a person who has Parkinson’s Disease is related to the neurological disease. Some symptoms, like shortness of breath, chest pain, sudden difficulty with speech, or vertigo, are not caused by PD and require immediate medical attention. Other symptoms that are not caused by PD, like fever, may signal an infection. Hence, if a person has Parkinson’s disease it clearly does not explain any symptoms they are experiencing.

6. Parkinson’s disease is caused by a genetic mutation.

The cause of Parkinson’s Disease is not yet known. Researchers believe there are equally both genetic and external factors that lead to the development of Parkinson’s Disease, but there is not a single definitive genetic mutation that leads to all cases of Parkinson’s Disease. Sometimes Parkinson’s Disease runs in families, which suggests a hereditary factor; however, in most cases of Parkinson’s Disease are sporadic that are occurring in people without a family history of the disease. Also, even if a person has a mutation linked to Parkinson’s Disease, this does not always mean the person will get Parkinson’s Disease.

7. Parkinson’s disease is predictable and follows a similar pattern in all patients.

Parkinson’s Disease is very unique to each person with the disease, and even an expert physician in Parkinson’s Disease cannot predict exactly how the disease will progress for an individual diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Every individual does not go through Parkinson’s in the exact same way, so Parkinson disease is not predictable and does not follow the same pattern in all patients.

8. Parkinson’s disease condition is the end of life.

This is also a myths about Parkinson’s disease that Parkinson’s disease condition is the end of life. Although many of the motor symptoms can be alleviated with medication, currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers continue to explore the causes of the disease in hopes that they can identify ways to stop or slow the progression of PD. Surgery is also an option for some patients to provide DBS deep-brain stimulation, which involves the placement of electrodes in the brain to regulate abnormal brain impulses.

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