Paul Sinha health: The Chase star’s condition as he plans to ‘fight it with every breath’
Paul Sinha routinely wins intellectual sparring matches against the general public on The Chase. As a further testament to his unmatched acuity, Paul also gained the honorary title of the British Quizzing Champion last September. It is his brain power that makes the diagnosis he received last June all the more tragic.
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The quizzer revealed he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in June last year after a two-year battle with his health.
When he went public with his diagnosis he vowed to “fight it with every breath I have”.
Writing in a post on his blog, Paul said: “In the time since my Parkinson’s started I have been ludicrously busy, and fully intend to keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy, keep quizzing and keep being hopeless at Tasks.”
He continued: “Dancing on Ice is, I suspect, out of the question. A lot of people have asked ‘What can I do to help?’ The answer is to treat me exactly the same as before.”
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
According to the NHS, Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra.
“This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain,” explains the health body.
A loss of dopamine in the brain leads to issues with movement, which accounts for the three main symptoms.
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The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
- Slow movement
- Stiff and inflexible muscles
“A person with Parkinson’s disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms,” explains the NHS.
- Depression and anxiety
- Balance problems (this may increase the chances of a fall)
- Loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
- Problems sleeping (insomnia)
- Memory problems
How to treat Parkinson’s
There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms and maintain your quality of life.
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Exercise plays a key role helping with Parkinson’s maintain quality of life.
According to Parkinson’s UK, doing two and a half hours of exercise a week can slow the progression of symptoms.
“Exercise can help you manage physical symptoms and other symptoms such as sleep problems, fatigue, mood and mental health,” explains the charity.
It adds: “Exercise can be as important as your medication to help you take control and manage your symptoms.”
What role does medication play in managing Parkinson’s?
The NHS explains: “Medication can be used to improve the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as shaking (tremors) and movement problems.”
It is important to note that not all the medications available are useful for everyone, and the short- and long-term effects of each are different, says the health site.
Three main types of medication are commonly used:
- Dopamine agonists
- Monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors
“Your specialist can explain your medication options, including the risks associated with each medication, and discuss which may be best for you,” adds the NHS.
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