What is Pill Rolling In Parkinson’s Disease?

What is Pill Rolling In Parkinson’s Disease?

Pill rolling tremor associated with Parkinson’s disease is a type of tremor that has obtained its name based on the way; it arises in Parkinson’s disease patients. If you experience pill-rolling problem, it appears as you try to roll any small object or a pill in between your index finger and thumb. This is a resting type of tremor, because of which it takes place whenever your body remains in relaxed condition instead of the time, when you use or move your arms/hands. Pill rolling tremor is a common type of tremor related to Parkinson’s disease i.e. a type of nervous system disorder affecting body movements. This is often an early symptom associated with the Parkinson’s disease.

What is Pill Rolling In Parkinson's Disease?

Causes of Pill Rolling Tremor

Similar to any other tremor, pill-rolling type of tremor takes place in specific parts of human brain, responsible for controlling the body movements. These include frontal lobe, cerebellum and basal ganglia. A few common types of tremors are of inheriting in nature, while others occur because of different factors, which include-

  • Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions
  • Head trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Overactive thyroid

Key Aspects of Pill Rolling Tremor

Tremors: Tremors, especially the pill rolling one constitutes the major symptom associated with Parkinson’s disease and it takes place in about 70% to 80% cases. In case of parkinson’s disease problem, nerve cells present in specific part of human brain i.e. basal ganglia starts dying and produces relatively less amount of transmitter named dopamine. Basal ganglia utilize dopamine to setup connections and communicate among neurons. Thus, whenever there is less amount of dopamine, basal ganglia fail to setup proper connections and neurons’ communication.

Basal Ganglia: Basal ganglia are responsible to assure about smooth body movements of individuals. However, when there are limited connections in the brain areas, they fail to do their jobs in well manner resulting in movement fluctuations and tremors, along with other Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

Neurological Problems: Pill rolling tremors take place because of degenerative neurological problems. These include Lewy body dementia or multiple system atrophy, which usually takes place because of Parkinson’s disease.

Go to Doctor: Pill rolling tremors involved serious conditions and because of this, you should immediately schedule your appointment with your doctor.

Risk Factors

As pill-rolling tremor takes place because of Parkinson’s disease, biggest risk factors associated with the tremor are similar to those of parkinson’s disease problems. Common risk factors are-

Age: Individuals exceeding 60 years or more age may develop Parkinson’s disease.

Gender: Men are likely to develop Parkinson’s disease rather than women.

Genes: About 15% to 20% people dealing with Parkinson’s disease have their relatives with the same condition. However, there is no genetic reason associated with the problem.

Chemicals: A few studies have highlighted that ongoing exposure to specific pesticides and other related chemicals may increase the risk related to Parkinson’s disease to some extent.

Treatment Options to Cure Pill Rolling

Pill rolling tremor caused because of Parkinson’s disease may become ease with Parkinson’s disease medications i.e. carbidopa and levodopa. In some of the cases associated with advanced Parkinson’s, where other medicines fail to work properly, doctors recommend for deep brain simulation. This treatment involves the placement of electrodes within the basal ganglia. Electrodes thus send small amount of electricity in patients’ brain, which helps a lot in the reduction of tremors.

Even with regular medicine and simulation, pill rolling tremor caused from parkinson’s disease spreads usually to different areas of the patients’ arm and other body parts for a span of about few years. In most of the cases, anxiety or stress may worsen tremors, irrespective of their underlying conditions. In this situation, patients have to find ways to get relax, which include focusing on any hobby and taking medicine to reduce the tremor. Many people have even observed that they can easily suppress their tremor by simply squeezing a pen, a ball or any other small object, in case it remains in minor condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 25, 2018

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