Wednesday, August 27, 2014

8 Early Signs of Parkinson's Disease

 8 Early Signs of Parkinson's Disease

Degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's represent some of the largest challenges facing medical researchers today. These diseases not only rob us of control over our own bodies, but slowly sap our mental capabilities as well. Like most diseases, however, they are best detected early on, when we can at least slow down the progress of the disease, hopefully until better treatments are found. To do this, we must be aware of the early symptoms and signs that point to Parkinson's.
parkinson
Note: Don't panic if you have one or more of these symptoms, as they can be related to other issues. However, to stay on the safe side, if you think there is even a small chance you are showing early signs, please get tested, if only for your own peace of mind. If you do have it and you catch it early, the prognosis will be much better for you.
Here are 8 early symptoms of the onset of Parkinson's disease.
 
1. A change in handwriting
If a person's handwriting starts to go from big and free to small and cramped, this may well be an early sign of Parkinson's. The telling signs are letters that get smaller and words that seem crowded together with letters almost written on each other. Many patients also take longer to write and have trouble with repetitive tasks.
 

2. A reduced sense of smell
If someone is suddenly having trouble smelling pungent foods or picking up on scents, they should go see a doctor. Most times it has to do with sinuses, and it's definitely not one of the most obvious signs of Parkinson's, but doctors say patients with Parkinson's claim it is the earliest sign they had of the disease. While studies haven't proven the link between the symptom and the disease, a working theory is that certain proteins form clumps in the brain and may form in the olfactory area, reducing our sense of smell.
 
sense of smell
 

3. Trouble sleeping
Another symptom that can be easily ignored because it's so common, is the sudden inability to sleep well, even if you're usually a sound sleeper. Suddenly you toss and turn, your limbs move and twitch during sleep, or you may even wake up on the floor, having fallen from bed. Ask your significant other if you are making a lot of movements at night, and go see a doctor if it persists. 

insomnia

 
4. A quieter, softer voice or an expressionless face
A softer voice and a masked face are common signs of Parkinson's. Some will not notice they are speaking at a softer tone, and they definitely won't notice their face losing expression, so it is up to the people around them to be aware of these signs. Speaking too rapidly or stammering a lot is also a symptom. 
 
expressionless face

 
5. Depression
Obviously many patients develop depression after learning they have Parkinson's, but there is a physical link between the deterioration that comes with Parkinson's and depression. Some patients get depressed years before the other symptoms of the disease appear. Lower-than-normal secretions of serotonin and dopamine, the neurotransmitters invovled with many bodily functions as well as mood, can cause this effect.

depression
 
 
6. Constipation
If you find that you've seriously reduced the number of times you move your bowels, sometimes even skipping a day - that's not a good sign, even if it's not Parkinson's, and so you should check it out. The disease has an effect on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for unconscious processes such as digestion and bowel function. Constipation on its own is usually nothing to worry about, but if it comes with some of the other symptoms on this list - go get checked immediately.  
 
 
 
7. Shaking or having tremors while perfectly relaxed
Shaking is perfectly normal under certain circumstances. We may be excited or anxious, have just finished a workout or are feeling restless. But small shakes in our fingers, our hands, our chin, lip of full limbs while we're at rest could be a strong sign of Parkinson's, according to the National Parkinson Foundation. This symptom appears in about 70% of patients and can become more noticeable during stress or excitement. This symptom usually arrives AFTER the other symptoms on this list though. However, many a time it is the first one truly noticed, as the others can all have other explanations. 

hand
 

8. Stiffness and slowness of movement
Stiffness in the joints that doesn't go away, coupled with muscle weakness that's here to stay can spell bad news. Suddenly everyday tasks like buttoning your shirt, walking or fixing things around the house become bothersome and difficult. You stop swinging your arms as you walk and your legs and feet feel heavy and 'stuck to the floor'. If you start hesitating before taking steps, or people are commenting that you look stiff or sore - please see a doctor.

The Most Beautiful Little Towns of Italy!

The Most Beautiful Little Towns of Italy!

The most beautiful thing about Italy is not it's famous cities: Rome, Florence, Venice - but the many scenic little towns that make up the heart of Italy, showing you the beautiful natural vistas and the ancient buildings of this ancient European land. Here are some of the most lovely of the little towns of Italy.
Atrani 
little towns of Italy

Found in Amalfi, this is the smallest town of South Italy, and a beautiful place to visit that was even featured in a famous fiat 500 commercial. 

little towns of Italy


Castelsardo
little towns of Italy

Found in Sardinia, this little town has about 5000 residents, hundreds of years of history and an incredible view of the Mediterranean. 
little towns of Italy

Vogogna 
little towns of Italy

Vogogna is a tiny municipality with less than 2000 residents. It's surrounded by majestic mountains and other settlements and features a medieval castle - The Visconti castle, built in 1344. 
little towns of Italy


Alberobello 
little towns of Italy
A scenic little town famous for its trulli style buildings, Alberobello can be found in the Puglia region.  
little towns of Italy

Neive 
little towns of Italy

This little town has amazing sunsets to show you, and an incredible view at all other times.
little towns of Italy

Monte Isola 
little towns of Italy

Monte Isola is the largest lake island in Italy, encompassing an area of 5 square km (about 2 squre miles) and a dazzling place to visit you won't soon forget.
little towns of Italy


Colletta di Castelbianco 
little towns of Italy
This stone village is ancient in origins and believed to have been constructed as a fortified defense against the Saracens (medieval Muslim tribe) in the 13th century. The blue and red doors of some of the houses add charming color to this already beautiful little town. 
little towns of Italy

Vernazza 
little towns of Italy

Vernazza, which can be found in the Cinque Terre region, not only has an amazing view, but is a haven for those with a passion for fishing. It is known as one of the truest fishing villages of the Italian Riviera. 

little towns of Italy

Otranto 
little towns of Italy

Otranto used to be famous for breeding incredible horses. Today it still offers an incredible view of the crystal clear waters and features a beautiful medieval castle - Castello Aragonese, built in 1485. 
little towns of Italy

Glorenza/Glurns 
little towns of Italy

Glorenza, or Glurns, can be found in northern Italy. With less than 1000 residents, it's tiny. Most of those 1,000, you'll be surprised, actually speak German. 
little towns of Italy

Dozza 
little towns of Italy

Every 2 years, the festival of the painted wall takes place in Dozza, to which artists from all around the world travel to paint on buildings.  

little towns of Italy

Polignano a Mare 
little towns of Italy

This commune can be found in southern Italy and is home to the famous 'cave restaurant', located in the Grotta Palazzese hotel. It also offers amazing views of the Adriatic Sea. 

little towns of Italy

Malcesine 
little towns of Italy

You'll find Malcesine on the Eastern shores of Lake Garda, close to Venice. The scenery and lake views of this town make it a place definitely worth popping in for a visit.
little towns of Italy

Corinaldo
little towns of Italy

If you're a history buff, Corinado with it's 14th century walls and the place of birth of Saint Maria Goretti, is a perfect place to go. Besides, they have a great Halloween festival every October that's well worth seeing.
little towns of Italy

Bosa 
little towns of Italy

This little town has an amazing atmosphere that comes with brightly colors structures, palm trees, killer views and great fishing spots.
little towns of Italy
 Cynthia K.

19 Ways to Wake Up in the Morning

19 Ways to Wake Up in the Morning

Waking up in the morning is a pet peeve of mine. No matter how much sleep I got, somehow, the alarm clock manages to make me angry every time. I’ve broken a couple and learnt to ignore a few others. When I came across these alarm clocks, I knew I wasn’t alone. (Even though some of these made me chuckle)
The Pleasant Wakeup
1. Wake up To a cup of coffee – “The Barisieur Coffee Brewing Alarm System” is a godsend for those of us who need their caffeine fix as soon as they wake up! As the alarm goes off, your nose is embraced by the scent of freshly brewed coffee, and you get your energy boost right there, in bed!
Alarm Clocks
2. Wake up To The Smell  Of Bacon – The people at Oscar Mayer realized that the smell of bacon is incredibly powerful when it comes to get people out of bed, and so they created this gadget that attaches to your phone and syncs with your alarm, so that when it goes off, it releases the smell of bacon to the air, urging you to get up.
Alarm Clocks
3. The Silent Alarm – No noise, not smells, just good vibrations. That is to say, this little ring will start vibrating until you wake up. Feel like snoozing? Just shake your hand, but each time you shake to snooze - you’ll need to shake it for a longer duration.
Alarm Clocks
4. An Alarm Clock for 2 – Similar to the one above, this clock is designed with couples in mind. You can each set it up to different times and wake up separately thanks to the vibrations and without waking up your partner.
Alarm Clocks

5. Nature’s Wakeup Call – A calm and natural awakening is the best thing in the world, and this is exactly what this clock is emulating. The alarm will start lighting up about 30 minutes before the wakeup time, increasing in intensity to mimic the sunrise. Once peak lighting is reached, it’ll start playing nature sounds to help you wake up.
Alarm Clocks
The Less Pleasant Wakeup
6. Head Shaker – If we’re mentioning vibrating alarms, this pillow will vibrate, making you wake up (or toss it away)! It’s got a timer you pull to set, and just rest your head. Oh, and if the pillow realizes you didn’t wake up, it’ll go into snooze mode, and will start again in a few minutes.
Alarm Clocks
7. A Light Wake Up – When the alarm goes off, you don’t get noise, smells or vibrations. Instead, the pillow lights up until you wake up and lift your head. Once you do – it’ll show you the time thanks to specialized lights in the pillow. Pretty incredible!
Alarm Clocks
The Very Unpleasant Wakeup
8. The Sonic Boom – If you ignore the sound your alarm makes, you might need this one. Forget about sleeping, because when this alarm goes off, it explodes with 113db of sound (louder than a power-saw and almost as loud as a rock concert). Oh, it also starts blasting lights and even comes with a special unit that will shake your bed. Nope, no more sleep!
Alarm Clocks
9. Shocking Music – This lovely clock-radio has high quality speakers, so you can enjoy your favorite radio station when you wake up, and a special feature you don’t see everywhere – the “snooze” button is made of aluminum and can deliver a mild electric shock to wake you up and discourage you from kitting it again.
Alarm Clocks
10. Time Is Money – Still think you need a better reason to wake up? Well, this alarm clock is connected to the internet and every time you hit the snooze button, it will donate money to an organization you hate. I think that’s a very good reason not to sleep in.
Alarm Clocks
The "Simon Says" Wakeup
11. Wake Up Smiling – The Smile alarm clock has an advance facial-recognition algorithm that will only switch off the alarm when you smile at it. Oh, and if you think a fake smile’s enough – you’re dead-wrong! This clock knows when you’re happy for real!
Alarm Clocks
12. Wake’N’Shake – No snooze button here, just shake, shake, shake! When this alarm app goes off, you’ll have to shake your phone until the red bar fills up. By the time it will be – you won’t fell like going back to bed.
Alarm Clocks
13. Get Up, Stand Up – This alarm clock is also your bedside mat. It has LED lights to show you the time and the only way to stop the alarm is to put both feet on the mat!
Alarm Clocks
14. The Weight Of Waking Up – Shaped like a dumbbell, this alarm clock requires that you do 30 bicep curls to switch off the alarm. It even has a motion detector to make sure you’re doing them correctly, or they don’t count.
Alarm Clocks
15. Wake Up Your Brain – The IQ Clock won’t stop unless you solve some brain-teasers first. And if you think you can just turn it off, you’re sorely mistaken – you have to hold the power button pressed for 30 seconds to power it down…
Alarm Clocks
16. Targeted Alarm – When it’s time to wake up, the target pops up and you have to hit the bull’s-eye with this mini-laser gun!
Alarm Clocks
17. Clocky Rolly – As soon as the alarm starts, this little crazy clock starts driving around in random patterns, and you have to catch it to stop it. It will even fall off your desk (up to a height of 3 feet) and run away.
Alarm Clocks
18. More Annoying Than A Fly – Because if you thought the one that drives around with the alarm on is annoying enough, this one will fly around with the alarm on! The only way to stop it is to catch it and put it back in its home-base.
Alarm Clocks
19. Never Forget – Not the loudest or the most annoying of the lot, this alarm has a small erasable board on which you can leave yourself a message for the morning. It even lights up for better visibility.
Alarm Clocks