Hints of PD

She just wanted to be told she didn’t have Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t dispel her worries. She did have tremor; what sort of tremor is questionable. Sometimes causes are unclear, time helps clarify issues, though few people can ever pinpoint the cause of Parkinson’s disease. Those who can identify a true cause of the illness may subscribe it to having a genetic mutation, though familial patterns of Parkinson’s disease are quite rare.

The patient suffered from temporal arteritis, inflammation of the temporal artery. The harrowing condition has symptoms like tenderness of the scalp and hair, pain in the jaw and when chewing, and loss or blurriness of vision. Doctors prescribe oral steroids to bring inflammation under control, because vision can be lost and never regained if flow through the ophthalmic artery gets disrupted and the patient has no secondary means of blood circulation to the eye. For some reason, women are three times more likely to suffer from this problem than men. Rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus may coincide with the ailment; the patient lived with the former.

Upon examination, the doctor noticed brisker reflexes on the right side as well as slight rigidity when engaged in a simultaneous task. Though the patient reported a tremor that could shake wine from her glass, the tremor during examination was mild and fine. Might arteritis be the cause of her physical symptoms? Rigidity may result from inflammation in the brain, but the spouse reported tremor was worsening. With the course of steroids, inflammation should resolve, causing rigidity to improve.

Worsening tremor is unlikely to result from inflammatory processes in the brain. If the patient suffers from a Parkinsonian syndrome then tremor should gradually worsen and involve both sides of the body at rest, or other symptoms should appear. With the request to return to clinic in six months to a year, the physician prescribed Selegiline with the hope of forestalling and diminishing a possible loss of dopaminergic neurons.

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