A team of researchers from the Institute of Neurosciences Kolkata (INK) has found a new indicator for Parkinson’s disease. The research shows that mirror movement or involuntary movement of one side of the body when the other is in motion could prove to be a sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that is triggered by the death of cells in the human brain. It makes it difficult for a person to resist movement of both the limbs even when they are using just one. This could be an early symptom of Parkinson’s and could contribute to fast treatment.
The INK is currently hosting a group of patients who are being screened for the disease and a majority of them seem to be in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and have this mirror movement present in them. These patients were not aware of the fact that they were subjected to Parkinson’s disease, according to Hrishikesh Kumar who is the Head of the Department of neurology at INK. In a statement Kumar said, "Mirror movement is rarely noticed even by doctors. But it is among the most significant early indicators. It suggests commencement of the degeneration process in the brain triggered by the lack of dopamine in the brain that triggers Parkinson's."
These mirror movements seem to be pretty common in new born babies until the child is six months old and any stimulus could cause a simultaneous movement on both sides of the person’s body. Kumar further explained, "There is a pathway between the left and right sides of the brain which is termed corpus pallosum. It lets stimulus flow uninterrupted from one part of the brain to another, resulting in coordinated movement. As one grows up, the pathway is inhibited. So, you can move one limb without mirroring the movement with the other. In Parkinson's patients, this inhibition is lost reviving the mirror movement.”
The patients involved in the study were given some simple tasks like locking a door, carrying a bag and moving objects for the study. Also, it is important to note here that apart from Parkinson’s disease, those who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, writer’s cramp, brain tumour had similar mirror movement.
Common indicators of Parkinson’s disease are sleeping disorder, anxiety and depression, dementia, loss of memory, hallucination, dry mouth and excess salivation.
News Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Image Source: gettyimages.in
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