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Do not hesitate to slow down neurodegeneration through medication and exercise [신경세포 ‘퇴행 증세’ 늦추려면 약 복용 꺼리지 말고 운동 필수]

The symptoms and management of Parkinson's disease, the third major brain disease following dementia and stroke, were discussed by Dr. Choi Yoon Jae of the Neurology Department at Nasaret International Hospital.
# Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease caused by dopamine deficiency

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease in which dopamine is depleted because the nerve cells that make dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, decrease. In 1817 it was first known by a doctor named James Parkinson of England. More than 200 years later, the exact cause is not known and active therapeutic research is ongoing.

In the early stages of Parkinson's disease, dopamine deficiency causes slow movements in daily life, including abnormal motor disorders such as hands shaking, stooping postures,  and stiff to anxious postures. As the disease progresses slowly, a wide range of neurological disorders appear one by one.

Nervous system disorders such as olfactory disorders, pain, rem sleep disorders, vision impairment, orthostatic hypotension, and dementia are present.

# Taking the right medicine for the patient is the most important

In the Neurology Department of Nasaret International Hospital, there are patients who ask, "Can I get sick if I take medicine?" Parkinson's disease is a lifelong condition like hypertension and diabetes. It can be one of the most important diagnoses made by a neurologist during their examination.

Because Parkinson's disease is caused by a lack of dopamine, dopamine supplementation is the most common treatment. Dopamine medications supplement dopamine in the brain, and levodopa is the best symptom-improving effect.

Dopamine agonists exert their effects by directly stimulating dopamine receptors. It can be used alone or as a supplement to levodopa in early Parkinson's patients.

Unlike levodopa and dopamine agonists that supplement dopamine, type B monovalent oxidase inhibitors are used to prevent dopaminergic neurons from dying.

In addition, a variety of drugs are used to treat Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's patients should be aware of the characteristics and side effects of the medicines they are taking.

# Parkinson's disease can be overcome by patient and doctor together

Some patients are afraid to take medicine for a long time because of side effects.

However, it is more important to slow down the progression of Parkinson's disease rather than the side effects of the prescribed medication.

When you take in a new drug or have your prescription changed, it is best to talk to your neurologist often to find the most appropriate treatment for you and your doctor.

In addition, exercise is as important as taking medicine for Parkinson's disease. Exercise is a very important way to maintain one's best ability to function, and one needs to take time to exercise for themselves, such as walking, stretching and swimming.

Because it is easy for those with Parkinson's disease to fall, it is a good idea to make sure that there are no items that can easily fall from or get hurt by in your home. Beds and chairs are not too high, so such heights are good for getting up.

Written with the help of Dr. Choi Yoon Jae, Neurology Dept., Nasaret International Hospital
Original article published by Kiho Ilbo
2019 Aug 07


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