April is National Parkinson’s Month, where everyone tries to raise awareness about the degenerative disorder. This year, the theme is “Start a Conversation”, urging people to talk about Parkinson’s with loved ones, friends and care team. In honor of National Parkinson’s Month, the ibogaine rehab center is blogging about the disease’s various stages and types.
But first let’s first define Parkinson’s: It’s is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, mainly affecting the motor system (movements). The symptoms typically start on one side of the body, worsening over time. These include tremors, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement known as bradykinesia as well as reduced posture and balance. Some people with Parkinson’s, the ibogaine rehab center found out, have a hard time with speaking, writing and even smiling.
Parkinson’s has a rating scale, because the degenerative disease doesn’t affect people in the same way, progressing faster for some. The ibogaine rehab center found out there are two scales: The Hoehn and Yahr scale which first appeared in the late 60s and focuses on the movement symptoms mostly. And the United Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale is a more extensive scale, which takes into account a person’s ability to do daily activities, mood and social interactions.
Parkinson’s Stage 1:
Sin the early stages of Parkinson’s, symptoms are mild, and mostly affect one side of the body. Daily activities still follow routine, but changes in posture or facial expressions are just noticeable to loves ones.
Parkinson’s Stage 2:
In this Parkinson’s stage, the symptoms worsen with tremors, rigidity and movements affected in both sides of the body. A person may start to feel like their walking in a different way or have poor posture. Carrying out the day-to-day activities become harder but they can still live alone and take care of themselves.
Parkinson’s Stage 3:
At this point, a patient has difficulty with balance and makes slower movements. Falls are more common, but they can still live alone. Dressing up in the morning or eating can be a tad harder too.
Parkinson’s Stage 4:
The ibogaine rehab center found out that people with stage 4 Parkinson’s experience sever symptoms and limited way of life. They can still stand up without help, but most likely they can’t live alone anymore or take care of themselves on a day-to-day basis.
Parkinson’s Stage 5:
This stage is the most advanced and debilitating part of Parkinson’s. People typically can’t walk anymore or stand on their own. Living alone is no longer a possibility, and most likely they need a wheelchair. Aside from experiencing tremors, muscle rigidity and other symptoms, a person may see, hear or experience things that aren’t there as in hallucinations or delusions.
Most people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, about 80% to 85%, have primary parkinsonism or idiopathic Parkinson’s disease which responds well to medicine by increasing or substituting dopamine in the brain. At the ibogaine rehab center, executive program director David Dardashti uses ibogaine, a natural substance from West Africa, to help restore dopamine and serotonin levels for patients.
Secondary Parkinsonism includes drug-induced parkinsonism. Certain types of antipsychotics create tremors and instability in posture, typically improving weeks or months after stopping medication.
Vascular parkinsonism, also called cerebrovascular disease, is caused by a series of small strokes, killing certain parts of the brain, leading to Parkinson’s-like symptoms. It typically affects more the lower half of the body such as having trouble walking, but also leads to memory loss. Vascular parkinsonism is more common in people with diabetes.
Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NSA) is similar to vascular parkinsonism, and treated by removing spinal fluid. Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is caused by proteins build-up, starting on one side of the body then spreading everywhere else.
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) has a late stage onset, with symptoms progressing fast. Dementia sets it as the disease progresses. Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is another type of Parkinson’s which happens when there’s an overproduction of protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. MSA damages multiple areas in the brain.
If you or a loved one suffers from Parkinson’s disease, call 1.888.741.3121 for information on how an ibogaine treatment can work to trigger the central nervous system into healing itself.