Threat of Parkinson's disease looms over young too

Threat of Parkinson's disease looms over young too

 Gurpreet Kaur, a resident of north Delhi, felt her left hand trembling when she was 38-years-old. A series of tests concluded that she had Parkinson's disease.

The disease which usually takes place in the old age came as a shock to the family which had to suffer at many fronts on this account.

"Parkinson's affects people above 50. But it is increasingly affecting the younger people. Now, 25 per cent of the patients are below 40," said Dr Vinay Goyal, additional professor, neurology, AIIMS.

"Her condition could be kept under check only with medicines. After 10 years her body was immune to those medicines and surgery remained the only option. In 2001 there were no surgeries in India and hence we were asked to go abroad,” said Kaur’s husband.

Unable to bear the expenses, her family decided not to go for the surgery.
Since someone had to remain with her all the time, her husband chose to close down his business.

It was a blessing when the surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), came to Delhi.

"In 2006 she was operated in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Her condition is stable though two more minor surgeries had to be performed on her," he said.
It cost him only Rs 450,  while the private hospitals charge more than Rs 5 lakh for the purpose.

"Parkinson's is a degenerative disorder in which the cells decay, usually with age. Symptoms are slowness in performing general functions, imbalance while walking and shaking. The disease increases with age and there is no permanent cure," said Dr Goyal.

He said it can be kept under control only by medicine livadopa. But patient should not take it without a prescription from a neurologist.

He emphasised that after 10 years, the side-effects of the medicine overpower the positives.

"Thus, DBS surgery becomes important. It reduces requirement of medicine and hence lessens side-effects," he added. He also said stem cell treatment, which is much hyped now-a-days, is still limited to research and there is no conclusion so far.

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