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Having parkinson's like symptoms in pregnancy. What is the cause and what to do?

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19 year old girlfriend is having Parkinson like symptoms in eighth month of pregnancy, what could be the cause and what can we do?
Posted Sat, 4 Aug 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 1 hour later
Thanks for writing in.
I assume when you say Parkinsons' like symptoms, you mean difficulty in speaking, tremor and moving about slowly. Let me know if you were talking about something else.
Having primary Parkinson's at this age is extremely rare. Secondary Parkinson’s usually occurs in overdose of certain medications, severe nervous system diseases and a few other conditions. It would be extremely unlikely that your girlfriend has any of these conditions and has been healthy so far.
Given that she has a history of depression, I would be more inclined to think that her symptoms are probably due to depression and not Parkinson's. Depression is one of the important things to rule out when we make a diagnosis of Parkinson's.
Now, as far as the causes are concerned, depression is common is pregnancy and affects almost 1 in 13 women. Stress alongwith changes in brain chemistry have been held responsible and no single cause is known.
It is important that we treat this since it has been shown to adversely affect both the mother and the child. She needs to see a psychotherapist for some therapy and consult her physician for an evaluation of requirement of anti-depressant medications.
Hope that helps.
Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
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