The manifestations of COVID-19 evidenced one most important thing, that no kind of advancement in arms, ammunition, industries hold position when it comes to human health. Human health cannot be achieved without a healthy brain. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that initiates in the brain and affects multiple bodily functions adversely. It may cause tremors in the hands, stiffness of the whole body, or slowing of movements. More than 7 million people are currently affected by Parkinson’s disease across continents. The implications of Parkinson’s disease spread to family members in terms of providing constant care in almost all activities of daily living.
Why Parkinson’s disease, this World Brain Day?
The reason that the disease has been chosen this year is mainly due to the lack of awareness about the same. The accessibility to the measures for Parkinson’s management is extremely restricted. The medications itself aren’t available across many places around the globe, leave aside the surgical options. Most people are unaware that any form of treatment at all is available and believe that their loved one will have to live with it. Guess what, a lot has been changed in the disease management capacity since the times of supportive care.
What has changed?
A dozen newer management options have been lined up after immense research based on the age group, co-morbidities, and patient preference. This includes:
- Deep brain stimulation which is a surgical procedure through which few electrodes are implanted in the brain of the diseased with electrical impulses blocking brain activity that causes the problematic symptoms.
- Lesioning surgeries
Destroying a limited part of the brain that may source the faulty electrical impulses without damaging any other brain part:
- Thalamotomy – Destruction of the thalamus
- Pallidotomy – Destruction of the globus pallidus
- Sub-thalamotomy – Destruction of the subthalamic nucleus
Newer techniques take into account preservation of brain tissue which eventually plants room for brain cell transplantation and more. The treatment allows a better quality of life for both patients and their families in terms of no or very little medication requirement, better outcomes, and the like.
Ending Parkinson’s disease is an enormous target but we got to start somewhere. Given the background, let’s celebrate this World Brain Day by sharing the information with the people in need. We cannot cure those 7 million people in a day, but let’s start by taking those baby steps forward.
Dr. Amit Shrivastava, Senior Consultant – Neurology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi