Cogwheeling in Parkinson – Cogwheel or cogwheel rigidity or cogwheeling is a phenomenon of stiffness in people with Parkinson’s disease. This is often an early symptom of Parkinson’s and can be one of the diagnoses of the disease.
What’s Cogwheeling Like?
The phenomenon of cogwheel rigidity is characterized by stiffness of the muscles as in any other stiffness. It is also possible for a person to experience tremors in the same muscle while resting.
Cogwheel rigidity or cogwheeling can occur in any part of the body. However, it most commonly occurs in the arm, and this can occur in one arm or both arms.
This stiffness feels like a tight muscle, so sometimes you can’t move it, and it can be painful and very uncomfortable. Ball stiffness occurs, stiffness in any shape can be one of the three symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. While other symptoms of Parkinson’s are slow motion or bradykinesia and tremors. So if the doctor finds stiffness, it can be diagnosed as a symptom of Parkinson’s.
How do you get tested for cogwheeling?
The way to test for muscle rigidity is to ask you to relax your muscles and stretch your body. With this diagnosis they want to know:
- Are your muscles stiff and inflexible when they move them.
- Whether your limbs move with irregular or jerky movements, known as ratcheting motions.
- Are there “Ratcheting Motions” which is characteristic of rigidity in cogwheel rigidity. It may sound like a “click” when you move your body.
There are other symptoms you should understand about cogwheel rigidity. This is the occurrence of jerky movements when the doctor moves your body slowly. This will differentiate it from spasticity, another symptom of Parkinson’s.
What causes Cogwheeling in Parkinson?
This movement of the human body is controlled in the muscles so that it remains smooth. This part of the brain is called the basal ganglia. To carry out this activity, neurons in the ganglia located in the brain will use dopamine to connect and communicate with one another.
So, the root of the problem is in dopamine, a person with Parkinson’s disease can’t control their movements properly as a result of a dopamine deficiency in the brain. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter (a chemical in the brain). When dopamine is not at normal levels, the cells in the ganglia cannot communicate with each other. So, they can’t control their movements properly resulting in stiffness of body parts and other movement problems such as tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Stiffness or cogwheeling can also be found in other Parkinson’s conditions such as progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy and corticobasal degeneration.
This is a condition with the same symptoms but having a different cause. But stiffness like this is most common in people with Parkinson’s.
See too: What is a Marcus Gunn Pupil?
How is Cogwheeling Treated?
Cogwheel rigidity can be treated and treated by treating the root of the problem. Among the most common treatments and medications for people with Parkinson’s is levodopa (l-dopa). This treatment can help with various symptoms. This treatment is sometimes in collaboration with carbidopa, which can reduce side effects.
In addition there are other drugs that are commonly used. These are Dopamine agonists and MAO-B inhibitors. Both are drugs that are given to patients with Parkinson’s. If there is no drug that has been declared successful in treatment, it is possible that the next stage of Parkinson’s patients must do brain stimulation. In this treatment, electrodes are placed on the basal ganglia, where the electrodes send small electrical signals to parts of the brain. This method will reduce the stiffness of the cogwheelling.
In addition, there are several other things that Parkonson patients can do at home to manage and control cogwheel rigidity, including:
- Bouncing a ball – like dribbling a basketball, with the aim of keeping the arms moving and working.
- Exercising. This method can help relieve pain and strengthen muscles.
- Aerobic exercise is another exercise you can do to keep your body moving and it is great at reducing stiffness. But don’t force yourself to do aerobics.
- Stretch with the aim to keep the muscles flexible.
- Tai Chi or Yoga exercises, this will also reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s. That is why exercise is important for those who are elderly.
- Reduces stress. It is not a symptom of Parkinson’s but with stress, you can exacerbate your Parkinson’s symptoms.
- In every sport you do, you have to learn to cool down properly. This is useful for keeping the muscles active and stiff as before. Do physical therapy to find what exercise suits you best.
What’s the outlook?
Until now, Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured but the symptoms can be reduced and treated with several medications and lifestyle. These include exercising and reducing a stressful life.
Research on the brain continues to grow and along with this development research on the treatment of Parkinson’s continues to grow. Indeed, Parkinson’s is a complex disease and experts have learned a great deal about the biological aspects underlying the disease and they are conducting tests of treatment.
Diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. For example, experienced stiffness, this is often an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. For that you have to explain if you have experienced stiffness like this. So that makes it easier for doctors to diagnose.