Akinesia is when an individual loses control over their muscles, often referred to as freezing. Akinesia is one of the first signs of Parkinson’s Disease, however it can be linked to other medical conditions as well.
Akinesia occurs due to neurological changes in the body which result in either weak or dead nerve cells (also known as neurons). This means that the nerve and muscles do not receive the right signals which result in the loss of control in any of the major muscle groups such as the hands, legs, and other body parts.
Symptoms Of Akinesia
- Blurred or complete loss of vision
- Difficult in speaking/lowered voice
- Tremoring of the fingers even when simple seated
- Difficulty in standing up and walking
- Unable to maintain the right posture
- Trouble moving eyes or look in different directions
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Mood swings, depression etc.
Causes Of Akinesia
Akinesia can occur irrespective of the age and here are few of the major causes for it:
- Parkinson’s disease is the number one cause of Akinesia and occurs due to the lower levels of dopamine in the body (the muscle controlling hormone).
- Certain medicines can hinder the production of dopamine in the body creating Parkinson’s Disease like situation.
- Extreme thyroid hormone deficiency
- Akinesia can occur to due genetic reasons.
- Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a condition that affects the brain functioning. This results in loss of balance and can hinder day to day activities like walking, running etc.
Treatment for Akinesia varies depending on the symptoms. Generally doctor’s would prescribe one of the below treatment options.
A blend of Levodopa and Carbidopa is the standard medication. While Levodopa stimulates the nervous system, Carbidopa keeps side effects Levodopa away (so you’re not nauseated at all times).
The Levodopa is converted into dopamine by the brain. So you not only can move again with the freezing feeling but it also prevents tremors and other symptoms from occurring.
MAO-B Inhibitors are the other type of medicines you’ll more likely be prescribed. These also work towards maintaining the right dopamine levels in the body.
These medicines might also be accompanied with anti-depressants or botulinum injections to treat some of the other mentioned symptoms.
Medicines is only part of the treatment. Here is a list of things you can do from your end to ensure a full recovery.
- Perform exercises that counter pain and immobility caused by Akinesia
- Get help from a therapist so exercises are performed under expert guidance.
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Consume a fiber-rich diet
- Perform muscle relaxing activities like acupuncture, meditation.
- Avoid stress, focus on activities you love like listening to slow music, painting but for shorter periods.
Where medication fails, electrodes can provide a helping hand. The process is known as deep brain stimulation and involves surgical implantation of electrodes which stimulate the nervous centers.
Since it’s a treatment method only give in case of extreme symptoms, you’d want to consult a few doctors about it before going ahead with it.
Pain and muscle stiffness are common problems associated with Akinesia. To deal with this, over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may also be prescribed by the doctor.