Parkinson’s Disease Case Example Study
53-Year-Old Male with Parkinson’s Disease (Sample of how cases are outlined.)
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that is progressive and fatal. The onset of Parkinson’s disease is often mild and can go unnoticed until the symptoms become more advanced. The causes of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. Parkinson’s affects the patient by breaking down neurons which diminishes the capacity of the brain to transmit messages. This breakdown in neurons is what causes the symptoms such as motor discord as the brain is no longer capable of properly transmitting messages to muscles. Parkinson’s is characterized by motor disorder which is the result of the loss of dopamine producing brain cells. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released by the brain that plays a number of roles such movement, memory, behavior and recognition, attention, sleep, mood, and learning. Parkinson’s is an age related disease mainly affecting those age 60 and older, but on rare occasion it has appeared in children and young adults.
The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination (Disorders, 2014). There is no clinical test to diagnose someone with Parkinson’s. This diagnosis requires monitoring of symptoms because there are a variety of similar disorders that manifest themselves similarly such as multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, lewy body dementia, stroke, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and head trauma (Sietske N, 2013). Alzheimer’s disease and primary lateral sclerosis can also be mistaken for Parkinson’s disease (Sietske N, 2013).
This is the case of a 53 year old male who came to the doctor complaining about stiffness in joints and trembling in hands. The presence of Parkinson’s was readily considered when no physical conditions seem to fit the symptoms. After several months of monitoring symptoms a diagnosis of Parkinson’s was made. This was confirmed by three physicians.
The current therapy used is the drug sinemet. Sinemet is a drug that releases levodopa which is converted to dopamine in the brain. It is usually used when motor movement degrades to a certain degree due to long time side effects (Sietske N, 2013). Lifestyle changes were also recommended such as healthy eating and exercise in order to stave off the effects of the disease (Fikes, 3013).
The patient has a wife of similar age and they appear to be able to work together at this time to provide care.
Neurological disorders negatively impact individuals but slowly debilitating the person’s cognitive and physical functions. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease and treatment is limited. This case will likely end with the patient eventually having to be placed in a fulltime nursing center or having 24 hour care in house.
Disorders, N. I. (2014, March 13). NINDS Parkinson’s Disease Information Page.
Fikes, B. J. (3013, December 8). Stem cells for Parkinson’s getting ready for clinic.
Sietske N, H. (2013, 12 4). Parkinson’s Disease. MedicineNet, pp. 1–6.
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash