Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative brain disease, named after English Physician James Parkinson, who was the first one to describe it in the 1817.
The sufferer experiences a reduction in the levels of dopamine, the chemical which controls mobility. Dopamine is produced by specialized nerve cells in a very small area of the brain, the dark matter. When these cells gradually die, the production of dopamine is gradually reduced and the sufferer loses harmony of movement. This is how the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear; they are distinguished in motor and non-motor symptoms.
They may appear at any stage of the Disease and mainly are:
- slowness of movement
- muscle rigidity
- Instability or loss of balance, which may even provoke a fall.
They vary and may appear at any stage of the Disease, even if they precede motor symptoms for longer than a decade. They mainly are neuropsychiatric, including:
- depression and anxiety (the most common symptoms, at a rate of 45%)
- lack of motivation or reduced interest in social activities
- sleep disorders
- nasal dysfunction
- visual hallucinations
- disorders associated with the control of impulse, including pathological gambling, hypersexual behaviour, polyphagia and hyperconsumption.
Also, in the early stages of the Disease, sufferers may:
- experience a change of their handwriting (micrographia),
- have vivid dreams,
- their voice may get softer
- they may have a rigid expression (masking)
TREATMENT - CARE
Parkinson’s Disease requires specialized care. In addition to the recommended pharmacological treatment, during the last few decades treatments of choice have attracted the interest of the scientific community. They include:
All of them, in combination with each patient’s pharmacological treatment, seem to improve the physical condition and the cognitive function of patients.
ENHANCEMENT OF COGNITIVE FUNCTION
The enhancement of cognitive function is a very important intervention, which, based on studies, has a positive impact on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In patients who receive this treatment early in the course of their disease, its usefulness and importance have been established both in the improvement and the stabilization of cognitive function and behaviour as well as in the prevention of cognitive disorders.
Based on scientific research, cognitive function is enhanced through an individualized program adjusted to the needs, the cognitive abilities, the age, the level of education and the special characteristics of each sufferer.
Activities to enhance cognitive function may take the form of either individual or team programs, delivered by a psychologist. These include exercises for memory, speech, command and control taking functions and cognitive flexibility. The method used may either be the traditional method or methods based on digital technology at a proposed frequency of at least 2 to 3 times a week.
The Neuropsychological Evaluation of Parkinson’s disease using specific tests and scales offers significant information regarding its diagnosis and staging. Based on the latest studies, approximately 50-60% of sufferers will experience Parkinson’s Dementia. Therefore, Neuropsychological Evaluation and patient monitoring in a specialized Parkinson’s disease Clinic is absolutely necessary.
The Nea Thalpi Parkinson’s disease Clinic offers:
- prognosis of Parkinson’s disease
- prevention of dementia
- treatment planning.
In the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, non-pharmacological interventions are not just a complementary treatment, but rather a treatment of choice. Non-pharmacological interventions, which aim to delay cognitive deficits caused by the disease and to prevent symptoms of dementia include:
- strengthening of cognitive structures
- psychological support
- creative activities
- occupational therapy
At the Nea Thalpi Parkinson’s disease Clinic, we provide sophisticated and specialized non-pharmacological interventions, helping any patient to live and be creative with Parkinson’s Disease.
The most significant part in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is to provide information and training. Patients, their family and their caregivers must be well informed about
- the symptoms
- the course
- the treatment method
The goal of our team is to help caregivers of patients with Parkinson’s disease share their concerns, have their questions answered, cope better with stress and anxiety.
The Nea Thalpi Parkinson’s disease Clinic, in cooperation with the Neurologist Demetra Sali and Clinical Neuropsychologist Fay Efthymiopoulou, assesses the sufferers, either on an outpatient or an inpatient basis, in order to identify motor and non-motor symptoms that the Disease causes.
The Nea Thalpi Parkinson’s disease Clinic, in order to raise awareness and provide information about the disease but mostly in order to deliver the best treatments available, organizes
- private consultations
For more information about our future actions or to set an appointment please contact us.