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Parkinson’s Disease

Alternative Names : Parkinson disease, Parkinson’s, idiopathic parkinsonism, primary parkinsonism, PD, or paralysis agitans

Definition:
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder. It is characterized by progressive loss of muscle control, which leads to trembling of the limbs and head while at rest, stiffness, slowness, and impaired balance. As symptoms worsen, it may become difficult to walk, talk, and complete simple tasks.
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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes a slowing or freezing of movement. Many people with Parkinson’s disease live long productive lives, whereas others become disabled much more quickly. Premature death is usually due to complications such as falling-related injuries or pneumonia.

Friends and family may notice that your face shows little or no expression and your arms don’t swing when you walk. Speech often becomes soft and mumbling. Parkinson’s symptoms tend to worsen as the disease progresses.

While there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, many different types of medicines can treat its symptoms. In some cases,  doctor may suggest surgery.

In the United States, about 1 million people are affected by Parkinson’s disease and worldwide about 5 million. Most individuals who develop Parkinson’s disease are 60 years of age or older. Parkinson’s disease occurs in approximately 1% of individuals aged 60 years and in about 4% of those aged 80 years. Since overall life expectancy is rising, the number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease will increase in the future. Adult-onset Parkinson’s disease is most common, but early-onset Parkinson’s disease (onset between 21-40 years), and juvenile-onset Parkinson’s disease (onset before age 21) also exist.

Descriptions of Parkinson’s disease date back as far as 5000 BC. Around that time, an ancient Indian civilization called the disorder Kampavata and treated it with the seeds of a plant containing therapeutic levels of what is today known as levodopa. Parkinson’s disease was named after the British doctor James Parkinson, who in 1817 first described the disorder in great detail as “shaking palsy.”

Symptoms:
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can vary from person to person. Early signs may be subtle and can go unnoticed. Symptoms typically begin on one side of the body and usually remain worse on that side even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.

Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:

*Tremor. The characteristic shaking associated with Parkinson’s disease often begins in a hand. A back-and-forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger, known as pill-rolling, is common, and may occur when your hand is at rest. However, not everyone experiences tremors.

*Slowed motion (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson’s disease may reduce your ability to initiate voluntary movement. This may make even the simplest tasks difficult and time-consuming. When you walk, your steps may become short and shuffling. Or your feet may freeze to the floor, making it hard to take the first step.

*Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness can occur in any part of your body. Sometimes the stiffness can be so severe that it limits the range of your movements and causes pain. People may first notice this sign when you no longer swing your arms when you’re walking.

*Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped as a result of Parkinson’s disease. Balance problems also may occur, although this is usually in the later stages of the disease.

*Loss of automatic movements. Blinking, smiling and swinging your arms when you walk are all unconscious acts that are a normal part of being human. In Parkinson’s disease, these acts tend to be diminished and even lost. Some people may develop a fixed staring expression and unblinking eyes. Others may no longer gesture or seem animated when they speak.

*Speech changes. Many people with Parkinson’s disease have problems with speech. You may speak more softly, rapidly or in a monotone, sometimes slurring or repeating words, or hesitating before speaking.

*Dementia. In the later stages of Parkinson’s disease, some people develop problems with memory and mental clarity. Alzheimer’s drugs appear to alleviate some of these symptoms to a mild degree.

Causes:
The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including:

*Genes. Researchers have found specific genetic mutations that likely play a role in Parkinson’s disease. In addition, scientists suspect that many more changes in genes — whether inherited or caused by an environmental exposure — may be responsible for Parkinson’s disease.

*Environmental triggers. Exposure to toxins or certain viruses may trigger Parkinson’s signs and symptoms.In addition, numerous changes are found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. The role of these factors in the development of the disease, if any, isn’t clear, however. These changes include:

*A lack of dopamine. A substance called dopamine acts as a messenger between two brain areas – the substantia nigra and the corpus striatum – to produce smooth, controlled movements. Most of the movement-related symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are caused by a lack of dopamine due to the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra. When the amount of dopamine is too low, communication between the substantia nigra and corpus striatum becomes ineffective, and movement becomes impaired; the greater the loss of dopamine, the worse the movement-related symptoms. Other cells in the brain also degenerate to some degree and may contribute to non-movement related symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Although it is well known that lack of dopamine causes the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it is not clear why the dopamine-producing brain cells deteriorate. Genetic and pathological studies have revealed that various dysfunctional cellular processes, inflammation, and stress can all contribute to cell damage. In addition, abnormal clumps called Lewy bodies, which contain the protein alpha-synuclein, are found in many brain cells of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. The function of these clumps in regards to Parkinson’s disease is not understood. In general, scientists suspect that dopamine loss is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

*Low norepinephrine levels. People with Parkinson’s disease also have damage to the nerve endings that make another important chemical messenger called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine plays a role in regulating the autonomic nervous system, which controls automatic functions, such as blood pressure regulation.

*The presence of Lewy bodies. Unusual protein clumps called Lewy bodies are found in the brains of many people with Parkinson’s disease. How they got there and what type of damage, if any, Lewy bodies might cause is still unknown.

Risk Factors:
Risk factors for Parkinson’s disease are:

*Age : Age is the largest risk factor for the development and progression of Parkinson’s disease. Most people who develop Parkinson’s disease are older than 60 years years of age.Young adults rarely experience Parkinson’s disease. It ordinarily begins in middle or late life, and the risk continues to increase with age.

*Heredity : Having a close relative with Parkinson’s increases the chances that you’ll also develop the disease, A small number of individuals are at increased risk because of a family history of the disorder. Although your risk is still no more than about 4 to 6 percent.

*Sex: Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women are.Men are affected about 1.5 to 2 times more often than women.

*Exposure to toxins: Ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides puts you at slightly increased risk of Parkinson’s.Head trauma, illness, or exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides and herbicides may be a risk factor.
Complications:
Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by these additional problems:

*Depression:  Depression is common in people with Parkinson’s disease. Receiving treatment for depression can make it easier to handle the other challenges of Parkinson’s disease.

*Sleep problems:  People with Parkinson’s disease often have trouble falling asleep and may wake up frequently throughout the night. They may also experience sudden sleep onset, called sleep attacks, during the day.

*Difficulty chewing and swallowing:  The muscles you use to swallow may be affected in the later stages of the disease, making eating more difficult.

*Urinary problems:  Parkinson’s disease may cause either urinary incontinence or urine retention. Certain medications used to treat Parkinson’s also can make it difficult to urinate.

*Constipation: Many people with Parkinson’s disease develop constipation because the digestive tract works more slowly. Constipation may also be a side effect of medications used to treat the disease.

*Sexual dysfunction:  Some people with Parkinson’s disease may notice a decrease in sexual desire. This may stem from a combination of psychological and physical factors, or it may be the result of physical factors alone.Medications for Parkinson’s disease also may cause a number of complications, including involuntary twitching or jerking movements of the arms or legs, hallucinations, sleepiness, and a drop in blood pressure when standing up.

Diagnosis:
A physician will diagnose Parkinson’s disease from the medical history and a neurological examination.  There is no lab test that will clearly identify the disease, but brain scans are sometimes used to rule out disorders that could give rise to similar symptoms. Patients may be given levodopa and resulting relief of motor impairment tends to confirm diagnosis. The finding of Lewy bodies in the midbrain on autopsy is usually considered proof that the patient suffered from Parkinson’s disease. The progress of the illness over time may reveal it is not Parkinson’s disease, and some authorities recommend that the diagnosis be periodically reviewed.

Other causes that can secondarily produce a parkinsonian syndrome are Alzheimer’s disease, multiple cerebral infarction and drug-induced parkinsonism.  Parkinson plus syndromes such as progressive supranuclear palsy and multiple system atrophy must be ruled out.  Anti-Parkinson’s medications are typically less effective at controlling symptoms in Parkinson plus syndromes. Faster progression rates, early cognitive dysfunction or postural instability, minimal tremor or symmetry at onset may indicate a Parkinson plus disease rather than PD itself.  Genetic forms are usually classified as PD, although the terms familial Parkinson’s disease and familial parkinsonism are used for disease entities with an autosomal dominant or recessive pattern of inheritance.

Medical organizations have created diagnostic criteria to ease and standardize the diagnostic process, especially in the early stages of the disease. The most widely known criteria come from the UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank and the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The PD Society Brain Bank criteria require slowness of movement (bradykinesia) plus either rigidity, resting tremor, or postural instability. Other possible causes for these symptoms need to be ruled out. Finally, three or more of the following features are required during onset or evolution: unilateral onset, tremor at rest, progression in time, asymmetry of motor symptoms, response to levodopa for at least five years, clinical course of at least ten years and appearance of dyskinesias induced by the intake of excessive levodopa. Accuracy of diagnostic criteria evaluated at autopsy is 75–90%, with specialists such as neurologists having the highest rates.

Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans of people with PD usually appear normal.  These techniques are nevertheless useful to rule out other diseases that can be secondary causes of parkinsonism, such as basal ganglia tumors, vascular pathology and hydrocephalus.  A specific technique of MRI, diffusion MRI, has been reported to be useful at discriminating between typical and atypical parkinsonism, although its exact diagnostic value is still under investigation. Dopaminergic function in the basal ganglia can be measured with different PET and SPECT radiotracers. Examples are ioflupane (123I) (trade name DaTSCAN) and iometopane (Dopascan) for SPECT or fludeoxyglucose (18F) for PET. A pattern of reduced dopaminergic activity in the basal ganglia can aid in diagnosing PD

Treatment :
There’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease although new research is just starting to suggest that some drugs already used for the condition do have some effect in holding back progression of the disease.

A lot can be done to relieve symptoms, especially in the early stages, by replacing the missing dopamine in the brain. This can be done very effectively with a drug called levodopa – a synthetic chemical that’s converted into dopamine in the brain. However, there can be severe side-effects with prolonged usage.

Because of these problems, doctors usually try to delay using levodopa, especially in younger people. Instead, they use other drugs that boost dopamine activity or mimic its effects, known as dopamine agonists. These drugs also have side-effects and doses have to be carefully tailored to each patient’s needs.

Another option for people with more advanced Parkinson’s is injections of a drug called apomorphine which can ‘rescue’ people from sudden ‘off’ periods (episodes of greatly reduced mobility).

This drug can also be given as a continuous infusion for those with severe movement fluctuations and reduces the dose of levodopa that a person requires.

Occupational therapists and physiotherapists help people manage their condition by assisting with movement and providing advice on how to maintain independence in everyday life. Speech and language therapists help with communication or swallowing difficulties.

Deep brain stimulation is a form of surgery that can be used to treat some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. A wire with four electrodes at its tip is implanted in one of four target sites in the brain. Then a small unit, which generates electrical signals for the stimulation, is implanted into the person’s chest. When the stimulation is switched on, electrical signals are sent to the brain to stop or reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s. It’s not suitable for everyone with Parkinson’s, but can provide significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life.

In the future, gene therapy and stem cell therapy may hold some possibility of more effective treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

YOU MAY CLICK & SEE  : Parkinson’s disease ‘may start in gut’

Lifestyle and home remedies:
If you’ve received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, you’ll need to work closely with your doctor to find a treatment plan that offers you the greatest relief from symptoms with the fewest side effects. Certain lifestyle changes also may help make living with Parkinson’s disease easier.

Healthy eating
Eat a nutritionally balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods are high in fiber, which is important for helping prevent the constipation that is common in Parkinson’s disease. A balanced diet also provides nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that may be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease.

If you take a fiber supplement, such as psyllium powder, Metamucil or Citrucel, be sure to introduce it gradually and drink plenty of fluids daily. Otherwise, your constipation may become worse. If you find that fiber helps your symptoms, use it on a regular basis for the best results.

Walking with care
Parkinson’s disease can disturb your sense of balance, making it difficult to walk with a normal gait.

These suggestions may help:

*Try not to move too quickly.
*Aim for your heel to strike the floor first when you’re walking.
*If you notice yourself shuffling, stop and check your posture. It’s best to stand up straight.

Avoiding falls
In the later stages of the disease, you may fall more easily. In fact, you may be thrown off balance by just a small push or bump.

The following suggestions may help:

*Don’t pivot your body over your feet while turning. Instead, make a U-turn.
*Don’t lean or reach. Keep your center of gravity over your feet.
*Don’t carry things while walking.
*Avoid walking backward.

Dressing
Dressing can be the most frustrating of all activities for someone with Parkinson’s disease. The loss of fine motor control makes it hard to button and zip clothes, and even to step into a pair of pants. An occupational therapist can point out techniques that make daily activities easier.

These suggestions also may help:

*Allow plenty of time so that you don’t feel rushed.
*Lay clothes nearby.
*Choose clothes that you can slip on easily, such as sweat pants, simple dresses or pants with elastic waistbands.
*Use fabric fasteners, such as Velcro, instead of buttons.

Alternative Medications:
Forms of alternative medicine that may help people with Parkinson’s include:

*Coenzyme Q10. People with Parkinson’s disease tend to have low levels of coenzyme Q10, and some research has suggested it may be beneficial. However, subsequent research hasn’t confirmed this benefit. You can buy coenzyme Q10 without a prescription in drugstores and natural food stores. Talk with your doctor before taking this supplement to ensure that it won’t interfere with any medication you may be taking.

*Massage. Massage therapy can reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation, which may be especially helpful to people experiencing muscle rigidity associated with Parkinson’s disease. These services, however, are rarely covered by health insurance.

*Tai chi. An ancient form of Chinese exercise, tai chi employs slow, flowing motions that help improve flexibility and balance. Several forms of tai chi are tailored for people of any age or physical condition.

*Yoga. Yoga is another type of exercise that increases flexibility and balance. Most poses can be modified, depending on your physical abilities.

Prognosis:
PD invariably progresses with time. Motor symptoms, if not treated, advance aggressively in the early stages of the disease and more slowly later. Untreated, individuals are expected to lose independent ambulation after an average of eight years and be bedridden after ten years.  However, it is uncommon to find untreated people nowadays. Medication has improved the prognosis of motor symptoms, while at the same time it is a new source of disability because of the undesired effects of levodopa after years of use.   In people taking levodopa, the progression time of symptoms to a stage of high dependency from caregivers may be over 15 years.  However, it is hard to predict what course the disease will take for a given individual. Age is the best predictor of disease progression. The rate of motor decline is greater in those with less impairment at the time of diagnosis, while cognitive impairment is more frequent in those who are over 70 years of age at symptom onset.

Since current therapies improve motor symptoms, disability at present is mainly related to non-motor features of the disease.Nevertheless, the relationship between disease progression and disability is not linear. Disability is initially related to motor symptoms. As the disease advances, disability is more related to motor symptoms that do not respond adequately to medication, such as swallowing/speech difficulties, and gait/balance problems; and also to motor complications, which appear in up to 50% of individuals after 5 years of levodopa usage. Finally, after ten years most people with the disease have autonomic disturbances, sleep problems, mood alterations and cognitive decline. All of these symptoms, especially cognitive decline, greatly increase disability.

The life expectancy of people with PD is reduced. Mortality ratios are around twice those of unaffected people. Cognitive decline and dementia, old age at onset, a more advanced disease state and presence of swallowing problems are all mortality risk factors. On the other hand a disease pattern mainly characterized by tremor as opposed to rigidity predicts an improved survival. Death from aspiration pneumonia is twice as common in individuals with PD as in the healthy population

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/parkinsons1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson’s_disease
http://www.medicinenet.com/parkinsons_disease/article.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson’s_disease
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/parkinsons-disease/DS00295

Dizziness

Definition
Dizziness is classified into three categories—vertigo, syncope, and nonsyncope nonvertigo. Each category has a characteristic set of symptoms, all related to the sense of balance. In general, syncope is defined by a brief loss of consciousness (fainting) or by dimmed vision and feeling uncoordinated, confused, and lightheaded. Many people experience a sensation like syncope when they stand up too fast. Vertigo is the feeling that either the individual or the surroundings are spinning. This sensation is like being on a spinning amusement park ride. Individuals with nonsyncope nonvertigo dizziness feel as though they cannot keep their balance. This sensation may become worse with movement…..CLICK & SEE

Description
The brain coordinates information from the eyes, the inner ear, and the body’s senses to maintain balance. If any of these sources of information is disrupted, the brain may not be able to compensate. For example, people sometimes experience motion sickness because the information from their body tells the brain that they are sitting still, but information from the eyes indicates that they are moving. The messages don’t correspond and dizziness results.

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Vision and the body’s senses are the most important systems for maintaining balance, but problems in the inner ear are the most frequent cause of dizziness. The inner ear, also called the vestibular system, contains fluid that helps to fine tune the information the brain receives from the eyes and the body. When fluid volume or pressure in the inner ear changes, information about balance is altered. The discrepancy gives conflicting messages to the brain about balance and induces dizziness.

Certain medical conditions can cause dizziness because they affect the systems that maintain balance. For example, the inner ear is very sensitive to changes in blood flow. Because such medical conditions as high blood pressure or low blood sugar can affect blood flow, these conditions are frequently accompanied by dizziness. Circulation disorders are the most common causes of dizziness. Other causes are head injuries, ear infections, allergies, and nervous system disorders.

Dizziness often disappears without treatment or with treatment of the underlying problem, but it can be long-term or chronic. According to the National Institutes of Health, 42% of Americans will seek medical help for dizziness at some point in their lives. The costs may exceed a billion dollars and account for five million visits to physicians annually. Episodes of dizziness increase with age. Among people aged 75 or older, dizziness is the most frequent reason for seeing a doctor.

Causes & symptoms
Careful attention to symptoms can help determine the underlying cause of the dizziness. The underlying problems may be benign and easily treated, or they may be dangerous and require intensive therapy. Not all cases of dizziness can be linked to a specific cause. More than one type of dizziness can be experienced at the same time and symptoms may be mixed. Episodes of dizziness may last for a few seconds or for days. The length of an episode is related to the underlying cause.

The symptoms of syncope include dimmed vision, loss of coordination, confusion, lightheadedness, and sweating. These symptoms can lead to a brief loss of consciousness or fainting. They are related to a reduced flow of blood to the brain; they often occur when a person is standing up and can be relieved by sitting or lying down. Vertigo is characterized by a sensation of spinning or turning, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, headache, or fatigue. An individual may have trouble walking, remaining coordinated, or keeping balance. Nonsyncope nonvertigo dizziness is characterized by a feeling of being off balance that becomes worse if the individual tries moving or performing detail-intense tasks.

A person may experience dizziness for many reasons. Syncope is associated with low blood pressure, heart problems, and disorders in the autonomic nervous system, which controls such involuntary functions as breathing. Syncope may also arise from emotional distress, pain, and other reactions to outside stressors. Nonsyncope nonvertigo dizziness may be caused by rapid breathing, low blood sugar, or migraine headache, as well as by more serious medical conditions.

Vertigo is often associated with inner ear problems called vestibular disorders. A particularly intense vestibular disorder, Ménière’s disease, interferes with the volume of fluid in the inner ear. This disease, which affects approximately one in every 1,000 people, causes intermittent vertigo over the course of weeks, months, or years. Ménière’s disease is often accompanied by ringing or buzzing in the ear, hearing loss, and a feeling that the ear is blocked. Damage to the nerve that leads from the ear to the brain can also cause vertigo. Such damage can result from head injury or a tumor. An acoustic neuroma, for example, is a benign tumor that wraps around the nerve. Vertigo can also be caused by disorders of the central nervous system and the circulation, such as hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), stroke, or multiple sclerosis.

Some medications cause changes in blood pressure or blood flow. These medications can cause dizziness in some people. Prescription medications carry warnings of such side effects, but common drugs such as caffeine or nicotine can also cause dizziness. Certain antibiotics can damage the inner ear and cause hearing loss and dizziness.

Diet may cause dizziness. The role of diet may be direct, as through alcohol intake. It may be also be indirect, as through arteriosclerosis caused by a high-fat diet. Some people experience a slight dip in blood sugar and mild dizziness if they miss a meal, but this condition is rarely dangerous unless the person is diabetic. Food sensitivities or allergies can also be a cause of dizziness. Such chronic conditions as heart disease and serious acute problems such as seizures and strokes can cause dizziness. These conditions, however, usually exhibit other characteristic symptoms.

Diagnosis
During the initial medical examination, an individual with dizziness should provide a detailed description of the type of dizziness experienced, when it occurs, and how often each episode lasts. A diary of symptoms may help to track this information. The patient should report any symptoms that accompany the dizziness, such as ringing in the ear or nausea, any recent injury or infection, and any medication taken.

The examiner will check the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and body temperature as well as the ear, nose, and throat. The sense of balance is assessed by moving the individual’s head to various positions or by tilt-table testing. In tilt-table testing, the person lies on a table that can be shifted into different positions and reports any dizziness that occurs.

Further tests may be indicated by the initial examination. Hearing tests help assess ear damage. X rays, computed tomography scan (CT scan), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can pinpoint evidence of nerve damage, tumors, or other structural problems. If a vestibular disorder is suspected, a technique called electronystagmography (ENG) may be used. ENG measures the electrical impulses generated by eye movements. Blood tests can determine diabetes, high cholesterol, and other diseases. In some cases, a heart evaluation may be useful. Despite thorough testing, however, an underlying cause cannot always be determined.

Doctors caution that childhood syncope (fainting), although rarely serious, can indicate a serious cardiac. If the fainting is abrupt or happens with exertion, it may indicate a more serious problem.

Treatment:-

Because dizziness may arise from serious conditions, it is advisable to seek medical treatment. Alternative treatments can often be used alongside conventional medicine without conflict. Potentially beneficial therapies include nutritional therapy, herbal remedies, homeopathy, aromatherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, and relaxation techniques.

Nutritional therapy
To prevent dizziness, nutritionists often advise eating smaller but more frequent meals and avoiding caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, foods high in fat or sugar, or any substances that cause allergic reactions. A low-salt diet may also be helpful to some people. Nutritionists may also recommend certain dietary supplements:

*Magnesium citrate, aspartate or maleate: for dizziness caused by magnesium deficiency.
*B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B12: for dizziness caused by deficiency of these essential vitamins.

Herbal remedies

The following herbs have been used to treat dizziness symptoms:

*Ginger: for treatment of dizziness caused by nausea.
*Ginkgo biloba: may decrease dizziness by increasing blood flow to the brain.

Homeopathy

Homeopathic therapies can work very effectively for dizziness, and are especially applicable when no organic cause can be identified. They are chosen according to the patient’s specific symptom profile:

*Aconite: for feeling light-headed from postural hypotension (getting up too quickly)
*Coccolus: for motion sickness or syncope
*Conium maculatum: for feeling dizzy while looking at rapidly-moving images.
*Gelsemium: for feeling light-headed and out of balance, often associated with influenza or stage fright.
*Petroleum: for dizziness upon standing up too fast and headache before and after a storm.

Aromatherapy:

Aromatherapists recommend a warm bath scented with essential oils of lavender, geranium, and sandalwood as treatment for dizziness. This therapy can have a calming effect on the nervous system.

Osteopathy:

An osteopath or chiropractor may suggest manipulations or adjustments of the head, jaw, neck, and lower back to relieve pressure on the inner ear.

Acupressure:

Acupressure may be able to improve circulation and decrease the symptoms of vertigo. The Neck Release, which involves pressing on five pairs of points on the shoulder blades and neck, is helpful for dizziness associated with migraine headaches.

Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and massage therapy for relieving tension, are popularly recommended methods for reducing stress.

Allopathic treatment:
Treatment of dizziness is determined by the underlying cause. If an individual has a cold or influenza, a few days of bed rest is usually adequate to resolve dizziness. Other causes of dizziness, such as mild vestibular system damage, may resolve without medical treatment. If dizziness continues, drug therapy may be required to treat such underlying illnesses as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, nervous conditions or diabetes. A physician may also prescribe antibiotics if ear infections are suspected. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have recently been shown to relieve dizziness in patients who have psychiatric symptoms. When other measures have failed, surgery may be suggested to relieve pressure on the inner ear. If the dizziness is not treatable by drugs, surgery, or other means, physical therapy may be used and the patient may be taught coping mechanisms for the problem.

Expected results
The outcome of treatment depends on the cause of dizziness. Controlling or curing the underlying factors usually relieves the dizziness itself. In some cases, the symptoms disappear without treatment. In a few cases, dizziness can become a permanent disabling condition.

Prevention

Most people learn through experience that certain activities will make them dizzy and they learn to avoid them. For example, if reading in a car produces motion sickness, reading should be postponed until after the trip. Changes in diet can also cut down on episodes of dizziness in susceptible people. For example, persons with Ménière’s disease may avoid episodes of vertigo by leaving salt, alcohol, and caffeine out of their diets. Reducing blood cholesterol can help diminish arteriosclerosis and indirectly treat dizziness. Daily multiple vitamin and mineral supplements may help prevent dizziness caused by deficiencies of these essential nutrients. Relaxation techniques can help ward off tension and anxiety that can cause dizziness.

Some cases of dizziness cannot be prevented. Acoustic neuromas, for example, are not predictable or preventable. Alternative approaches designed to rebalance the body’s energy flow, such as acupuncture and constitutional homeopathy, may be helpful in cases where the cause of dizziness cannot be pinpointed.

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Dizziness/Vertigo

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/dizziness

Vertigo

The vestibulo-ocular reflex. A rotation of the...Image via Wikipedia

 

Vertigo, a specific type of dizziness, is a major symptom of a balance disorder. It is the sensation of spinning or swaying while the body is stationary with respect to the earth or surroundings. There are two types of vertigo: subjective and objective. A person experiencing subjective vertigo feels a false sensation of movement. When a person experiences objective vertigo, the surroundings will appear to move past his or her field of vision.

The effects of vertigo may be slight. It can cause nausea and vomiting and, if severe, may give rise to difficulty with standing and walking.

The word “vertigo” comes from the Latin “vertere”, to turn + the suffix “-igo”, a condition = a condition of turning about

Causes of vertigo
Vertigo is usually associated with a problem in the inner ear balance mechanisms (vestibular system), in the brain, or with the nerve connections between these two organs.

The most common cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. Vertigo can be a symptom of an underlying harmless cause, such as in BPPV or it can suggest more serious problems. These include drug toxicities (specifically gentamicin), strokes or tumors (though these are much less common than BPPV).

Vertigo can also be brought on suddenly through various actions or incidents, such as skull fractures or brain trauma, sudden changes of blood pressure, or as a symptom of motion sickness while sailing, riding amusement rides, airplanes or in a vehicle.

Vertigo-like symptoms may also appear as paraneoplastic syndrome (PNS) in the form of opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome. A multi-faceted neurological disorder associated with many forms of incipient cancer lesions or virus. If conventional therapies fail, consult with a neuro-oncologist familiar with PNS.

Vertigo is typically classified into one of two categories depending on the location of the damaged vestibular pathway. These are peripheral or central vertigo. Each category has a distinct set of characteristics and associated findings.

Peripheral vertigo
The lesions, or the damaged areas, affect the inner ear or the vestibular division of the auditory nerve or (Cranial VIII nerve). Vertigo that is peripheral in origin tends to be felt as more severe than central vertigo, intermittent in timing, always associated with nystagmus in the horizontal plane and occasionally hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing of the ears).

Peripheral vertigo can be caused by BPPV, labyrinthitis, Ménière’s disease, perilymphatic fistula or acute vestibular neuronitis. Peripheral vertigo, compared to the central type, though subjectively felt as more severe, is usually from a less serious cause.

Central vertigo
The lesions in central vertigo involve the brainstem vestibulocochlear nerve nuclei. Central vertigo is typically described as constant in timing, less severe in nature and occasionally with nystagmus that can be multi-directional. Associated symptoms include motor or sensory deficits, dysarthria (slurred speech) or ataxia.

Causes include things such as migraines, multiple sclerosis, posterior fossa tumors, and Arnold-Chiari malformation. Less commonly, strokes (specifically posterior circulation stroke), seizures, trauma (such as concussion) or infections can also cause central vertigo.

Vertigo in context with the cervical spine
According to chiropractors, ligamental injuries of the upper cervical spine can result in head-neck-joint instabilities which can cause vertigo.[citation needed] In this view, instabilities of the head neck joint are affected by rupture or overstretching of the alar ligaments and/or capsule structures mostly caused by whiplash or similar biomechanical movements.

Symptoms during damaged alar ligaments besides vertigo often are

dizziness

reduced vigilance, such as somnolence

seeing problems, such as seeing “stars”, tunnel views or double contures.

Some patients tell about unreal feelings that stands in correlation with:

depersonalization and attentual alterations

Medical doctors (MDs) do not endorse this explanation to vertigo due to a lack of any data to support it, from an anatomical or physiological standpoint. Often the patients are having an odyssey of medical consultations without any clear diagnosis and are then sent to psychiatrist because doctors think about depression or hypochondria. Standard imaging technologies such as CT Scan or MRI are not capable of finding instabilities without taking functional poses.

Neurochemistry of vertigo
The neurochemistry of vertigo includes 6 primary neurotransmitters that have been identified between the 3-neuron arc that drives the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). Many others play more minor roles.

Three neurotransmitters that work peripherally and centrally include glutamate, acetylcholine, and GABA.

Glutamate maintains the resting discharge of the central vestibular neurons, and may modulate synaptic transmission in all 3 neurons of the VOR arc. Acetylcholine appears to function as an excitatory neurotransmitter in both the peripheral and central synapses. GABA is thought to be inhibitory for the commissures of the medial vestibular nucleus, the connections between the cerebellar Purkinje cells and the lateral vestibular nucleus, and the vertical VOR.

Three other neurotransmitters work centrally. Dopamine may accelerate vestibular compensation. Norepinephrine modulates the intensity of central reactions to vestibular stimulation and facilitates compensation. Histamine is present only centrally, but its role is unclear. It is known that centrally acting antihistamines modulate the symptoms of motion sickness.

The neurochemistry of emesis overlaps with the neurochemistry of motion sickness and vertigo. Acetylcholinc, histamine, and dopamine are excitatory neurotransmitters, working centrally on the control of emesis. GABA inhibits central emesis reflexes. Serotonin is involved in central and peripheral control of emesis but has little influence on vertigo and motion sickness.

Diagnostic testing
Tests of vestibular system (balance) function include electronystagmography (ENG), rotation tests, Caloric reflex test,[2] and Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP).

Tests of auditory system (hearing) function include pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, acoustic-reflex, electrocochleography (ECoG), otoacoustic emissions (OAE), and auditory brainstem response test (ABR; also known as BER, BSER, or BAER).

Other diagnostic tests include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized axial tomography (CAT, or CT).

Treatment:

Treatment is specific for underlying disorder of vertigo.
Vestibular rehabilitation
anticholinergics
antihistamines
benzodiazepines
calcium channel antagonists, Specific Verapamil and Nimodipine
GABA modulators, specifically gabapentin and baclofen
Neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors such as SSRI’s, SNRI’s and Tricyclics

Click to read : Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Vertigo: Its Causes and Treatment

Herbal Treatment:

THE HERBS listed below can help ease impaired sense of balance often described as “light-headedness” or “dizziness,” either of which can be symptoms of serious conditions, such as heart attack or stroke.

Butcher’s broom, cayenne 40,000 Scoville heat units, ginkgo biloba, coral calcium with trace minerals, kelp.

Quik Tip: Diminished blood flow to the brain can cause dizziness and lightheadedness, making circulatory stimulants like cayenne good choices for relief.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_%28medical%29    http://www.herbnews.org/vertigodone.htm

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Vertigo

Vertigo, a specific type of dizziness, is a major symptom of a balance disorder. It is the sensation of spinning or swaying while the body is stationary with respect to the earth or surroundings. With the eyes shut, there will be a sensation that the body is in movement, called subjective vertigo; if the eyes are open, the surroundings will appear to move past the field of vision, called objective vertigo.

The effects of vertigo may be slight. It can cause nausea and vomiting or, if severe, may give rise to difficulty with standing and walking.

The word “vertigo” comes from the Latin “vertere”, to turn + the suffix “-igo”, a condition = a condition of turning about.

When your whole world is spinning, it’s hard to convince yourself everything’s going to be okay. You feel weak, helpless, and scared – and it’s downright dangerous to suffer a vertigo spell in public, particularly in the midst of a crowd. It’s also extremely embarrassing, knowing other people are staring at you like you’re some sort of carnival attraction.

It might surprise you to learn that vertigo is one of the most frequent health disorders reported by adults. The National Institute of Health reports that as many as 40 percent of adults in the United States alone experience vertigo at least once during their lifetimes.

Vertigo is not a disease; it is a condition involving equilibrium or balance disorders caused by malfunctions in the inner ear or central nervous system. Common vertigo symptoms include:

Dizziness
Lightheadedness
Feeling faint
Unsteadiness

Click For more detail pictures

Causes of vertigo:

Vertigo is usually caused by problems in the nerves and structures of the inner ear, called the vestibular system. This system senses the position of your head and body in space as they move.

Vertigo can occur with the following conditions:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) –tiny particles naturally present in the canals of the inner ear, dislodge, and move abnormally when the head is tilted, pushing ear fluid against hair-like sensors in the ear. BPPV may result from:

Head injury
Viral infection
Disorders of the inner ear
Age-related breakdown of the vestibular system
Labyrinthitisin (Vestibular Neuritis)–inflammation of the inner ear. This often follows an upper respiratory infection.
Vertigo is usually associated with a problem in the inner ear balance mechanisms (vestibular system), in the brain, or with the nerve connections between these two organs.

The most common cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. Vertigo can be a symptom of an underlying harmless cause, such as in BPPV or it can suggest more serious problems. These include drug toxicities (specifically gentamicin), strokes or tumors (though these are much less common than BPPV).

Vertigo can also be brought on suddenly through various actions or incidents, such as skull fractures or brain trauma, sudden changes of blood pressure, or as a symptom of motion sickness while sailing, riding amusement rides, airplanes or in a vehicle.

Vertigo is typically classified into one of two categories depending on the location of the damaged vestibular pathway. These are peripheral or central vertigo. Each category has a distinct set of characteristics and associated findings.

There are two major types of Vertigo:

Subjective Vertigo (when the person feels that they are spinning) or Peripheral vertigo
Objective Vertigo (when the person feels that objects around them are spinning) or Central vertigo
Head movement causes electronic impulses to be transmitted to the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear consisting of three semicircular canals surrounded by fluid. The labyrinth, in turn, transmits the movement information to the vestibular nerve.

The vestibular nerve then carries the signal to the brainstem and the cerebellum which are responsible for coordinating balance, movement, blood pressure, and consciousness.

When the nerves responsible for transmitting the signals don’t transmit them correctly (or when the nerves in the brain stem or the inner ear wrongly interpret these signals), the dizziness, disequilibrium, and lightheadedness related to vertigo occur.

Peripheral vertigo
The lesions, or the damaged areas, affect the inner ear or the vestibular division of the auditory nerve or (Cranial VIII nerve). Vertigo that is peripheral in origin tends to be felt as more severe than central vertigo, intermittent in timing, always associated with nystagmus in the horizontal plane and occasionally hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing of the ears).

Peripheral vertigo can be caused by BPPV , labyrinthitis, Ménière’s disease, perilymphatic fistula or acute vestibular neuronitis. Peripheral vertigo, compared to the central type, though subjectively felt as more severe, is usually from a less serious cause.

Central vertigo
The lesions in central vertigo involve the brainstem vestibulocochlear nerve nuclei. Central vertigo is typically described as constant in timing, less severe in nature and occasionally with nystagmus that can be multi-directional. Associated symptoms include motor or sensory deficits, dysarthria (slurred speech) or ataxia.

Causes include things such as migraines, multiple sclerosis, posterior fossa tumors, and Arnold-Chiari malf formation. Less commonly, strokes (specifically posterior circulation stroke), seizures, trauma (such as concussion) or infections can cause also central vertigo.
Vertigo in context with the cervical spine:
According to chiropractors, ligamental injuries of the upper cervical spine can result in head-neck-joint instabilities which can cause vertigo.[citation needed] In this view, instabilities of the head neck joint are affected by rupture or overstretching of the alar ligaments and/or capsule structures mostly caused by whiplash or similar biomechanical movements.

Symptoms during damaged alar ligaments besides vertigo often are

dizziness
reduced vigilance, such as somnolence
seeing problems, such as seeing “stars”, tunnel views or double contures.
Some patients tell about unreal feelings that stands in correlation with:
depersonalization and attentual alterations
Medical doctors (MDs) do not endorse this explanation to vertigo due to a lack of any data to support it, from an anatomical or physiological standpoint. Often the patients are having an odyssey of medical consultations without any clear diagnosis and are then sent to psychiatrist because doctors think about depression or hypochondria. Standard imaging technologies such as CT Scan or MRI are not capable of finding instabilities without taking functional poses

Neurochemistry of vertigo
The neurochemistry of vertigo includes 6 primary neurotransmitters that have been identified between the 3-neuron arc that drives the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). Many others play more minor roles.

Three neurotransmitters that work peripherally and centrally include glutamate, acetylcholine, and GABA.

Glutamate maintains the resting discharge of the central vestibular neurons, and may modulate synaptic transmission in all 3 neurons of the VOR arc. Acetylcholine appears to function as an excitatory neurotransmitter in both the peripheral and central synapses. GABA is thought to be inhibitory for the commissures of the medial vestibular nucleus, the connections between the cerebellar Purkinje cells and the lateral vestibular nucleus, and the vertical VOR.

Three other neurotransmitters work centrally. Dopamine may accelerate vestibular compensation. Norepinephrine modulates the intensity of central reactions to vestibular stimulation and facilitates compensation. Histamine is present only centrally, but its role is unclear. It is known that centrally acting antihistamines modulate the symptoms of motion sickness.

The neurochemistry of emesis overlaps with the neurochemistry of motion sickness and vertigo. Acetylcholinc, histamine, and dopamine are excitatory neurotransmitters, working centrally on the control of emesis. GABA inhibits central emesis reflexes. Serotonin is involved in central and peripheral control of emesis but has little influence on vertigo and motion sickness.

Modern Diagnostic testing
Tests of vestibular system (balance) function include electronystagmography (ENG), rotation tests, Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP), and Caloric reflex test.

Tests of auditory system (hearing) function include pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, acoustic-reflex, electrocochleography (ECoG), otoacoustic emissions (OAE), and auditory brainstem response test (ABR; also known as BER, BSER, or BAER).

Other diagnostic tests include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized axial tomography (CAT, or CT).

Modern Treatment
Treatment is specific for underlying disorder of vertigo.

Vestibular rehabilitation
anticholinergics
antihistamines
benzodiazepines
calcium channel antagonists, specifically Verapamil and Nimodipine
GABA modulators, specifically gabapentin and baclofen
Neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors such as SSRI’s, SNRI’s and Tricyclics

Ayurvedic definition of Vertigo causes and treatment

Homeopathic vs conventional treatment of vertigo

Click for more knowledge on herbal & homeopathic remedy of vertigo

Vertigo Acupuncture

Herbal Treatment:THE HERBS listed below can help ease impaired sense of balance often described as “light-headedness” or “dizziness,” either of which can be symptoms of serious conditions, such as heart attack or stroke.

Butcher’s broom, cayenne 40,000 Scoville heat units, ginkgo biloba, coral calcium with trace minerals, kelp.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Sources:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_(medical) and http://www.herbnews.org/vertigodone.htm

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