Thursday, September 22, 2022
Thursday, September 22, 2022
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Can Parkinson’s Lead To Dementia

What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease

Parkinson’s Dementia

Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Parkinson disease dementia can cause problems with:

  • Speaking and communicating with others
  • Problem solving
  • Forgetfulness
  • Paying attention

If you have Parkinson disease and dementia, in time, you likely won’t be able to live by yourself. Dementia affects your ability to care of yourself, even if you can still physically do daily tasks.

Experts don’t understand how or why dementia often occurs with Parkinson disease. Its clear, though, that dementia and problems with cognitive function are linked to changes in the brain that cause problems with movement. As with Parkinson disease, dementia occurs when nerve cells degenerate, leading to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson disease dementia may be treated with medicines also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, another type of dementia.

Difference Between Parkinsons Disease Dementia And Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Technically, the difference between these two conditions lies in how quickly the cognitive difficulties and hallucinations develop in relation to the movement issues. In DLB, the cognitive difficulties and hallucinations develop much sooner in the disease course than in PDD, sometimes even prior to the movement difficulties. Because of the similarities between PD, PDD, and DLB, current thinking in the medical community is that they should be viewed as related diseases which fall along a continuum of Lewy body disorders.

Lewy Body Dementia: A Common Yet Underdiagnosed Dementia

While its not a household word yet, Lewy body dementia is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known disorders like Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons, it is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. In fact, many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with LBD.

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Ways To Decrease The Risk Of Parkinsons And Alzheimers

There is currently no cure for either disease. Parkinsons is considered a more treatable condition, however, especially in the early stages of the disease. Treatments include medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes. Research continues to suggest that a brain-healthy lifestyle can help prevent both Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Adopt a healthy diet with good nutrition. Brain-healthy diets, such as the Mediterranean or DASH diet have proven to make a difference. Diets with fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, beans, fish, poultry and dairy can protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, and promote cognitive health. By reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, these diets promote cognitive health. They can mitigate the risks of Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. Stay away from processed meats, butter and heavy cream, saturated fat. Too much sugar is also dangerous. Sugar is an inflammatory that can also lead to unhealthy weight gain.
  • Fitness and exercise. At least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, 3-4 days a week, is considered a preventative measure. Build physical activity into the daily routine. It doesnt have to be high impact; it can be walking, riding a stationary bike, or swimming.
  • Behaviors Seen In Parkinsons Disease Dementia

    Early Parkinsons  Parkinson

    As dementia progresses, managing disorientation, confusion, agitation, and impulsivity can be a key component of care.

    Some patients experience hallucinations or delusions as a complication of Parkinsons disease. These may be frightening and debilitating. Approximately 50 percent of those with the disease may experience them.

    The best thing to do when giving care to someone experiencing hallucinations or delusions from Parkinsons disease dementia is to keep them calm and reduce their stress.

    Take note of their symptoms and what they were doing before they exhibited signs of hallucinating and then let their doctor know.

    This element of the disease can be particularly challenging for caregivers. Patients may become unable to care for themselves or be left alone.

    Some ways to make caregiving easier include:

    • sticking to a normal routine whenever possible
    • being extra comforting after any medical procedures
    • limiting distractions
    • using curtains, nightlights, and clocks to help stick to a regular sleep schedule
    • remembering that the behaviors are a factor of the disease and not the person

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    Symptoms Of Cognitive Change

    The cognitive changes experienced by people with Parkinsons vary from person to person. Possible cognitive symptoms linked with early stage Parkinsons include:

    • Difficulty multi-tasking
    • Difficulty concentrating and becoming easily distracted
    • Difficulty learning new skills
    • Difficulty remembering certain things

    As Parkinsons progresses these symptoms can worsen and new symptoms might appear. Possible impairments later in the course of the condition might include:

    • Difficulty with problem-solving
    • Difficulty judging distances and directions

    Identifying Risk Factors For Parkinson’s

    The risk for early death increased by about 40% for every 10-year increase in age at diagnosis.

    Parkinsonâs researcher Tobias Kurth, MD, agrees that identifying risk factors for early death could help clinicians better manage the disease.

    Kurth is an adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

    âThis is important research that adds to our understanding of the impact of specific features of Parkinsonâs disease on outcomes,â he tells WebMD.

    His own study of Parkinsonâs-associated death matched Parkinsonâs patients with people without the disease who had similar non-Parkinsonâs-related illnesses.

    Like the newly reported study, patients who were older when their Parkinsonâs disease was diagnosed had a greater risk for early death.

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    See A Doctor If Youre Noticing Symptoms Beyond Parkinsons

    Sometimes the mood or memory changes a person experiences cannot entirely be explained just by Parkinsons. If this is the case, the caregiver should explore other diagnoses, because if something cannot be explained by Parkinsons, theres certainly a risk of it being dementia, Oguh said.

    She added that some signs to look for include increased memory and behavioral problems, like mood swings, anxiety or depression. Psychiatric behaviors, like hallucinations, delusions or paranoia, cannot just be explained by Parkinsons, and are more likely to be caused by a form of dementia like Lewy body dementia.

    Oguh urged caregivers to be aware of changing symptoms like these.

    I think sometimes family members are able to realize sooner than the patient, Oguh said. Often the patient might lack insight as to what is happening. I would encourage family members to seek expert opinion and treatment options.

    What Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia

    Cases of dementia and Parkinson’s misdiagnosed as ‘imposter’ disease

    Parkinsons disease dementia is a brain disorder that occurs in somebut not allpeople living with Parkinsons disease. The brain cell damage caused by the disease can lead to a loss of memory and other cognitive functions such as problem solving and speed of thinking. These changes in thinking and behavior can impact your daily living, independence, and relationships.

    In those who do develop Parkinsons disease dementia, there is at least one yearand usually 10 to 15 yearsbetween the Parkinsons diagnosis and the onset of dementia. According to estimates by the Alzheimers Association, 50% or more of people with Parkinsons disease eventually experience dementia, although there are a number of risk factors that impact the likelihood of developing symptoms:

    • Parkinsons patients who experience hallucinations, excessive daytime sleepiness, and more severe motor control problems are at higher risk for dementia.
    • Dementia is more common in people who are older at onset of Parkinsons.
    • Dementia is a bigger risk factor in non-tremor predominant Parkinsons.
    • Overwhelming stress, cardiovascular disease, and adverse reactions to the Parkinsons disease drug levodopa can also indicate an increased risk for developing dementia.
    • Dementia is relatively rare in people who develop Parkinsons before age 50, no matter how long they have had the disease.

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    What Is Lewy Body Dementia Causes Symptoms And Treatments

    On this page:

    Lewy body dementia is a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood. Lewy body dementia is one of the most common causes of dementia.

    LBD affects more than 1 million individuals in the United States. People typically show symptoms at age 50 or older, although sometimes younger people have LBD. LBD appears to affect slightly more men than women.

    Diagnosing LBD can be challenging. Early LBD symptoms are often confused with similar symptoms found in other brain diseases or in psychiatric disorders. Lewy body dementia can occur alone or along with other brain disorders.

    It is a progressive disease, meaning symptoms start slowly and worsen over time. The disease lasts an average of five to eight years from the time of diagnosis to death, but can range from two to 20 years for some people. How quickly symptoms develop and change varies greatly from person to person, depending on overall health, age, and severity of symptoms.

    In the early stages of LBD, symptoms can be mild, and people can function fairly normally. As the disease advances, people with LBD require more help due to a decline in thinking and movement abilities. In the later stages of the disease, they often depend entirely on others for assistance and care.

    How Is Parkinson Disease Diagnosed

    Parkinson disease can be hard to diagnose. No single test can identify it. Parkinson can be easily mistaken for another health condition. A healthcare provider will usually take a medical history, including a family history to find out if anyone else in your family has Parkinson’s disease. He or she will also do a neurological exam. Sometimes, an MRI or CT scan, or some other imaging scan of the brain can identify other problems or rule out other diseases.

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    Dementia With Lewy Bodies

    Initial cognitive deterioration in dementia with Lewy bodies resembles that in other dementias. However, dementia with Lewy bodies often manifests with early and prominent deficits in attention, executive function, and visuoperceptual ability; prominent or persistent memory impairment tends to occur as the dementia progresses.

    Extrapyramidal symptoms occur. However, in dementia with Lewy bodies , cognitive and extrapyramidal symptoms usually begin within 1 year of each other. Also, the extrapyramidal symptoms differ from those of Parkinson disease; in dementia with Lewy bodies, tremor does not occur early, rigidity of axial muscles with gait instability occurs early, and deficits tend to be symmetric. Repeated falls are common.

    Fluctuating cognitive function is a relatively specific feature of dementia with Lewy bodies. Periods of being alert, coherent, and oriented may alternate with periods of being confused and unresponsive to questions, usually over a period of days to weeks but sometimes during the same interview.

    Memory is impaired, but the impairment appears to result more from deficits in alertness and attention than in memory acquisition; thus, short-term recall is affected less than digit span memory .

    Patients may stare into space for long periods. Excessive daytime drowsiness is common.

    Visuospatial and visuoconstructional abilities are affected more than other cognitive deficits.

    The Impact Of Anxiety On The Body

    Lewy Body Dementia Quotes. QuotesGram

    The potential connection between anxiety and cognitive decline may be a result of the physiological impact of anxiety on the brain. Chronic anxiety can cause the brain to age more rapidly. When aging adults experience persistent anxiety, it can shorten their telomeres, which are the structures at the end of chromosomes. These structures are essential for proper cell division and the retention of genetic data. When telomeres are shortened, the cellular aging process can be accelerated and lead to decreased function in brain cells, which in turn leaves the brain at higher risk for dementia.;

    Caring for a loved one can be a source of anxiety and worry, so its important for you to take the time to rest your own mind and body. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If youre caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Rockwallfamilies who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation.

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    Treating Parkinsons Disease Dementia

    A treatment plan for PDD typically includes medications that boost the brains level of certain neurotransmitters and help improve memory and processing speed, Dr. Petrossian says. Exercise is also an important part of the treatment planDr. Petrossian recommends skill-based activities like boxing or dance to boost cognitive function as well as fitness. PDD symptoms should be monitored long-term by a neurologist, and in some cases a psychiatrist, says Dr. Okun. In many cases, physical, occupational, speech, and social work therapy can also be useful since PPD affects all aspects of life.

    Apda In Your Community

    APDAParkinson’s Disease SymptomsLewy Bodies, Dementia, and Parkinsons What Does it all Mean?

    Here are two common scenarios that may sound familiar:

    Scenario 1A patient develops a series of neurologic symptoms, is evaluated by a neurologist and is told that she has Parkinsons disease . She then visits another neurologist for a second opinion and is told she has Lewy Body Dementia .

    Scenario 2A patient has his first visit with his neurologist and is told that he has PD, at a subsequent visit the diagnosis is changed to Parkinsons disease dementia , and at a follow up visit the diagnosis is changed yet again to Dementia with Lewy Bodies .

    Both of these situations understandably cause great uncertainty and frustration.

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    How Can We Support The Sleep/wake Cycle Of Pdd

    For people with PDD who are confused about the day-night cycle, some daily strategies can be helpful. At night, starting a lights out routine that happens at the same hour every day, where all curtains are closed and lights are turned off, can help the person understand that it is sleep time. During the day, opening the curtains, allowing the person with PDD to spend as much time in the daylight as possible, avoiding naps, and organizing stimulating activities, can be helpful. Having lots of calendars and clocks in every room might also help a person with PDD be less confused about the time of day.

    Medications To Help Treat Parkinsons Disease Psychosis

    Comparing Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease

    Your doctor might consider prescribing an antipsychotic drug if reducing your PD medication doesnt help manage this side effect.

    Antipsychotic drugs should be used with extreme caution in people with PD. They may cause serious side effects and can even make hallucinations and delusions worse.

    Common antipsychotic drugs like olanzapine might improve hallucinations, but they often result in worsening PD motor symptoms.

    Clozapine and quetiapine are two other antipsychotic drugs that doctors often prescribe at low doses to treat PD psychosis. However, there are concerns about their safety and effectiveness.

    In 2016, the approved the first medication specifically for use in PD psychosis: pimavanserin .

    In clinical studies , pimavanserin was shown to decrease the frequency and severity of hallucinations and delusions without worsening the primary motor symptoms of PD.

    The medication shouldnt be used in people with dementia-related psychosis due to an increased risk of death.

    Psychosis symptoms caused by delirium may improve once the underlying condition is treated.

    There are several reasons someone with PD might experience delusions or hallucinations.

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    What Other Things Help

    There are various ways to help a person with PDD. Speech therapy may help improve communication between people with PDD and others. Physical therapy may help strengthen and stretch stiff muscles and help to prevent falls.

    Research has shown that;physical exercise helps to enhance brain health and improves mood and general fitness. A balanced diet, enough sleep and limited alcohol intake are other important ways to promote good brain health. Other illnesses that affect the brain, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, should also be treated if present.

    Symptoms Of Alcohol Dementia

    There are several symptoms which can be easily identified and might indicate that one suffers from this health problem. For example, headaches, frequent anger episodes, mood swings, slurred speech as well as memory gaps are serious signs of alcoholic dementia. Having regular alcohol blackout symptoms while drinking is also dangerous to the human brain and acts as a contributing factor to this condition.

    Elderly alcoholic dementia is a closely-related condition which affects elderly people, and the health effects of alcohol are worse when coupled with other neurological illnesses such as Alzheimers disease or Parkinsons disease. This combination of brain issues might be incurable and are known as alcohol-induced psychosis.

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    Dementia Can Be Treated Through Medication But Its Progression Will Continue

    Some of the problems caused by dementia are treatable, but there are no medications that slow the progression of this problem, just as there are no treatments that slow the progression of the rest of the Parkinsons Disease syndrome. We often use the same medications that are used in Alzheimers disease to improve concentration and memory, although only one, rivastigmine, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dementia in PD. Most experts believe that each of the Alzheimer drugs are about as useful in dementia in Parkinsons Disease as they are in Alzheimers, which, unfortunately, is not great. As with all medications used in PD, whether for slowness, stiffness, tremor, depression or sleep disorders, if the medication is not helpful, one should either try a higher dose or stop it. Since the drugs used to treat dementia take several weeks to work, and the dose often requires increases, the family needs to allow a reasonable time period, usually around two months, to decide if it is helpful or not. Obviously this needs to be discussed with the prescribing doctor.

    There is a lot of research being done to better understand and better treat dementia in PD.

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