Parkinson’s disease, very restless sleep may be a first sign of the 11th world day. In Italy 400,000 affected, continuous increase
ROME, APRIL 10 – By the time the first symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as slowness of movement and tremors at rest, appear, the disease is already at an advanced stage. But there are certain symptoms that should not be underestimated, which can help anticipate the diagnosis, such as particularly disturbed sleep.
To warn, in view of the World Day of Parkinson’s disease which is celebrated on April 11, the Italian Society of Neurology (Sin), which reiterates the importance of intervening quickly with targeted therapies against this disease which affects 5 million people in the world, including around 400,000 in Italy. Parkinson’s disease strikes around age 60, but between 10 and 20 percent of patients begin to show symptoms even before age 50, according to data from the Michael J. Fox Foundation. And these juvenile forms seem to be on the increase. Just as it is estimated that the number of affected patients is constantly increasing, which will lead to 6,000 new cases each year in our country over the next 15 years.
The cause of this neurodegenerative disease is the abnormal presence of alpha-synuclein protein aggregates in the brain, which leads to the selective death of dopamine-producing neurons. Often, by the time the diagnosis is received, more than 60% of the dopaminergic cells have already degenerated. “Starting treatment early or even pre-symptomatic – explains Alfredo Berardelli, president of Sin and professor of neurology at La Sapienza University in Rome – is important both to control symptoms and to slow down the evolution.
Indeed, in these phases, the dopaminergic or neuroprotective drugs under study could modify its evolution.” To diagnose the disease in the pre-symptomatic phase, one must be attentive to non-specific clinical manifestations such as olfactory deficit, depression , but also, as recent research confirms, behavioral disorder during REM sleep: about 60% of patients who scream, kick, punch, in fact, develop Parkinson’s disease in the Ages 10 to 12. To date, there is no definitive cure, but there are medications that can keep the symptoms under control, which can also be combined with therapies such as focused ultrasound and deep brain stimulation Scientific research continues but requires increasingly precise data.
“Movement disorders are a source of a high degree of disability, but precise epidemiological data on the distribution of these diseases are not available – underlines Mario Zappia, president of the Limpe-Dismov Academy), which aims to allow the systematic collection of clinical data on subjects affected by different types of movement disorders, residing in different regions, in order to evaluate them, archive them and make them available for studies and research”. define the prevalence and incidence of these pathologies at regional and national level and to identify clinical subtypes as well as risk factors and protective factors”, concludes Leonardo Lopiano, President of the Limpe Foundation.
Among the latter, “a healthy diet and regular physical activity have also been shown to play an important role”. To celebrate World Parkinson’s Day, established in 1997 by the European Association of Parkinson’s Disease, April 11 has been chosen, the date of birth of James Parkinson, the English doctor who, in 1817, described for the first time the “agitated paralysis”. For the occasion, events and awareness-raising actions have been organized all over the world and many monuments will light up in blue tomorrow.