This is, by all means, not a political post. However, I could not just discuss the subject without talking briefly about what led to my choice of topic.
The electioneering process is actually yet to get into full swing but we got a feel of what the nearest future will look like these past weeks when the Nigerian ruling party held her primary to produce the flagbearer for the number position in the upcoming general election elections. The candidate that emerged is a well-known political stalwart in the country and there are strong indications that he could be the next president of this country come next year.
While the opposition's voices are loud and clear and not surprising to any politically minded individual, the common man would be wondering if we are going to have another president that will spend more time attending to his health overseas than attending to governing issues, just like the current sitting president.
After the candidate was declared the winner of the primary, the party chairman placed the party's flag on his hand for him to raise it for the view of those in attendance. It was at this point many people got to know that the well-known political godfather might be suffering from Parkinson's disease. He had a somewhat horrid time getting the flag to stay stable in his hand. To further reinforce this thought process, a few months back, long before the candidate declared his intention to run for the presidency, news has it that he was away from the country for some weeks to attend to a particular health issue.
There is no doubt that the said candidate is a strong contender for the number one position in this country going by his political antecedents and influence, in addition to emerging on the platform of the incumbent party. Come next year, if the presumptive diagnosis was to be anything true, we Nigerians could be at the mercy of Parkinson's disease.
What is this disease?
Parkinson's disease is a somewhat popular non-pathogenic disease. It is caused by the breakdown of certain cells in the brain that are responsible for carrying signals across the nervous systems in the body. These cells are known as neurons. The degeneration of the neurons is progressive, meaning that it usually gets worse with time.
Because the part of the brain where the breakdown of neurons occurs has to do with body movement, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease are related to body movement accordingly. It ranges from tremor that usually starts from the hand, loss of coordinated movement, slurred speech, and so on.
What causes the breakdown of the neurons that lead to the symptoms remains an active area of research in science. Parkinson's disease has no known cure, however, the symptoms are known to be alleviate-able by relevant drugs and other forms of treatment such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). The latter is often recommended where the former failed to ameliorate some of the symptoms.
What does this means for Nigeria and Nigerians?
If indeed, the presumptive diagnosis is found to be true and the candidate emerges as the president of this country, the possible implications are highlighted below:
- regular visits of the president to specialists, which most likely would be outside the country. This is based on the assumption that the abnormality is still in its early stages.
- less physically active president due to impaired movement or after-effects of the drugs used in the management of the abnormality.
- the president could be cognitively impaired or develop mental health-related issues as a correlation has been established between these variables.
The message highlighted in this post is purely for educational purposes. It is not certain that the candidate in question has Parkinson's disease and even if he does, the prognosis might be different from what is highlighted.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
What do you think?