Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that affects many people in New Zealand. It is estimated that around 10,000 New Zealanders are living with Parkinson’s, and this number is expected to increase as the population ages. Parkinson’s is a complex condition, and understanding its causes, symptoms, and available treatments is essential for those living with the disease and their caregivers.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease affects everyone differently, but some of the most common symptoms include:
Tremors: Tremors are one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, affecting around 70% of people with the condition. Tremors typically begin in the hands or arms and can spread to other parts of the body.
Stiffness: Stiffness in the arms, legs, and trunk is another common symptom of Parkinson’s. This stiffness can make it difficult to move and perform everyday tasks.
Slow movement: Parkinson’s can cause a general slowing of movement, making simple tasks like getting dressed or preparing a meal take much longer than usual.
Postural instability: Parkinson’s can cause balance problems, increasing the risk of falls.
Non-motor symptoms: In addition to the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s e, there are several non-motor symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.
Causes of Parkinson’s
The exact cause of Parkinson’s is unknown. Parkinson’s occurs when there is a loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain, leading to the symptoms associated with the condition.
Mobility Aids for Parkinson’s
Several mobility aids can help individuals with Parkinson’s manage their mobility-related challenges, including:
Walking aids: Walking aids such as canes, walkers, and crutches can help improve balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls.
Mobility scooters: Mobility scooters can provide individuals with Parkinson’s with a means of transportation, allowing them to travel independently.
Lift chairs: Lift chairs can help individuals with Parkinson’s stand up from a seated position safely and independently, reducing the risk of falls.
Exercise equipment: Exercise equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills can help individuals with Parkinson’s improve their balance and coordination.
Voice amplifiers: Parkinson’s can lead to speech difficulties, and voice amplifiers can help individuals speak more clearly and effectively.