Have you seen someone executing a certain movement yet finds it hard to accomplish that desired movement? If yes, then that person might be experiencing bradykinesia. What is bradykinesia?
Bradykinesia is a medical condition that is associated with Parkinson’s disease where one exhibits a decrease in mobility. The term “bradykinesia” literally means “slow movement”. A lot of people confuse themselves between bradykinesia and hypokinesia. Both terms refers to slowness of movement but points out different things.
Hypokinesia on the other hand means difficulty in initiating a movement whereas bradykinesia refers to the slow speed of completing a certain movement after it has been initiated. However, it is still possible for a certain patient to experience both conditions where initiation and completion of a movement is very difficult to accomplish.
Bradykinesia is one of the triad symptoms that are very well associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The other two symptoms are rigidity and tremors. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. In this condition, the dopamine-containing cells of the subtantia nigra, located at the midbrain, dies due to unknown cause. The early course of this condition shows motor problems and one of which is bradykinesia. Later, both cognitive and behavioral problems arise. Dementia may be present in the late stage of the disease. Parkinson’s disease is common to elderly where most cases occur after the age of 50.
Parkinson’s disease was named after James Parkinson who published the first detailed resource regarding PD on his book “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy”. PD is a very costly disease that stuck the society today. Numerous research organizations are at their feet to come up with the best treatment for patients with this condition in order to have improved life quality. Public awareness of PD is annually sparked during April 11, the birthday of James Parkinson.
Bradykinesia can also occur with antipsychotic therapy. One of the effects of anti psychotic medications is calmness thus patients may enter a state of calm wherein their movements are exhibited in a slow manner. Physicians can adjust the dosage of the drug so that the patients would not have difficulty with their movements. However, it should be noted that anti-psychotic drugs does not cause bradykinesia in all patients who are taking anti psychotic medicines.
One treatment for bradykinesia is the use of L-DOPA. This drug is taken orally. L-DOPA converts to dopamine once it is dissolved in the body. There are other drugs that are taken together with L-DOPA so to allow time for the drug to reach the brain before the conversion takes place. Late conversion of the drug allows one to achieve the maximum effect of the drug.