Why Do People With Dementia Develop Seizures
Ultimately, anything that changes the structure of the brain can cause seizures.
This happens for some people after a stroke, a head injury, or with a brain infection like meningitis. A similar problem is happening in the brain in dementia. As cells in the brain die and the brain shrinks this can lead to epilepsy.
In addition, we know that two proteins that build up in the brain of people with Alzheimers disease amyloid and tau affect how the brains nerve cells communicate with each other.
Sometimes these nerve cells can become ‘hyper-excitable’, meaning they can behave uncontrollably, causing epileptic seizures.
Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited
Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.
There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.
Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.
Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.
Stage One: Symptoms Affect Only One Side Of Your Body
The initial phase of Parkinsons disease typically presents with mild symptoms. Some patients will not even detect their symptoms in the earliest phases of this stage. Typical motor symptoms experienced in Stage One include tremors and shaking limbs. Family members and friends may begin to notice other symptoms including tremor, poor posture, and mask face or loss of facial expression.
Seizure Forecasting With Wrist
by Susan Barber Lindquist, Mayo Clinic
Despite medications, surgery and neurostimulation devices, many people with epilepsy continue to have seizures. The unpredictable nature of seizures is severely limiting. If seizures could be reliably forecast, people with epilepsy could alter their activities, take a fast-acting medication or turn up their neurostimulator to prevent a seizure or minimize its effects.
A new study in Scientific Reports by Mayo Clinic researchers and international collaborators found patterns could be identified in patients who wear a special wristwatch monitoring device for six to 12 months, allowing about 30 minutes of warning before a seizure occurred. This worked well most of the time for five of six patients studied.
“Just as a reliable weather forecast helps people plan their activities, so, too, could seizure forecasting help patients living with epilepsy adjust their plans if they knew a seizure was imminent,” says Benjamin Brinkmann, Ph.D., an epilepsy scientist at Mayo Clinic and the senior author. “This study using a wrist-worn device shows that providing reliable seizure forecasts for people living with epilepsy is possible without directly measuring brain activity.”
What Is The Link Between Seizures And Dementiablog
There are some symptoms of dementia that are more commonly known, such as memory loss. Seizures are a less common symptom of dementia that are not as understood. Hear from one of our dementia researchers who has been studying seizures in people with the condition.
How common are epileptic seizures in dementia? Who is most at risk of having them? What do these seizures look like? What effect do they have on how someones memory changes over time?
These are the questions that I have been researching since starting my PhD in 2016. I’m a student funded by Alzheimers Society as part of the University of Exeter doctoral training centre.
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How Can I Support Someone With Parkinson’s At The Advanced Or Palliative Stage
In the advanced stages of Parkinsons, your patients care needs may be more complex and require careful planning along with the patient, their family and other health and social care professionals involved.
Palliative care should be holistic, considering the whole person to support the personal, social, psychological and spiritual needs of your patient and their family. It should give your patient some control and choice over areas such as treatment options and where they will be cared for, as well as providing advice and support to all the people involved in their care.
Palliative care in Parkinsons may be supported by a number of professionals, including a Parkinsons nurse specialist, local hospice or specialist palliative care team, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist or dietitian. Many people with Parkinson’s also find complementary therapies beneficial.
It is important that you find out whether the person has a care plan in place regarding their preferences for how the issues surrounding advanced Parkinsons should be managed. This could include legal documentation such as a Lasting Power of Attorney and an advance care plan. Advance care plans include information on what the persons wishes and preferences are for their care in the future. They may include decisions on any treatments the person doesnt want to have in the future this is called an Advance Directive, Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment or Living Will.
The Relationship Between Parkinsons Disease And Sleep
Its unclear whether poor sleep causes parkinsonian symptoms to worsen or whether worsening parkinsonian symptoms cause poor sleep. In many cases its likely a case of bidirectionality, with each one exacerbating the other.
Fragmented sleep and sleep deprivation appear to leave the brain more vulnerable to oxidative stress, which has been tied to the development of Parkinsons disease. Parkinsons disease is not usually diagnosed until individuals have developed sufficient motor symptoms, by which time a significant portion of brain cells have already been damaged. If poor sleep quality or having sleep disorders foreshadows the development of parkinsonian symptoms, these could be useful in early diagnosis of the disease.
More research is needed to clarify the multifaceted relationship between Parkinsons disease and sleep. A better understanding of this connection may offer medical experts the unique opportunity to screen at-risk individuals and perhaps delay the onset of the disease.
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Treatment For People With Dementia And Epilepsy
Researchers are still learning about the brain and how seizures and Parkinsonâs disease, Alzheimerâs and other kinds of dementia affect one another.
When it comes to treatment, there is good news. Studies have found that epilepsy drugs help reduce seizure activity in people with dementia and this boosts the quality of life.
Living Well With Parkinson’s
While medication and DBS surgery are the most effective treatments for PD, individuals often choose to delay these treatments because of their adverse side effects. Until a therapy is developed that can halt the progression of PD, there is a significant need for strategies that provide symptom relief without causing negative side effects.
Diet, Exercise, and Stress Reduction
Findings from several studies suggest that exercise has the potential to provide relief from certain PD symptoms. Anecdotally, people with Parkinsons disease who exercise typically do better. However, many questions remain. Among them is whether exercise provides a conditioning effect by strengthening muscles and improving flexibility or whether it has a direct effect on the brain.
In an NINDS-funded trial comparing the benefits of tai chi, resistance training, and stretching, tai chi was found to reduce balance impairments in people with mild-to-moderate PD. People in the tai chi group also experienced significantly fewer falls and greater improvements in their functional capacity.
Technologies that Improve Quality of Life
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What Are The Important Points Regarding Duodopa At The End Of Life
Duodopa is a continuous infusion of dopaminergic medication administered as a gel into the gut, pumped via a percutaneously inserted gastrostomy tube . There is a requirement for care of the stoma and PEG tube together with functioning of the pump by the patient or carer.41 It reduces the time in motor off periods in advanced PD and quality of life.42 There is evidence of effective treatment up until death from within a case series.43
Other Reasons For Cognitive Symptoms
Besides PD, there are other important causes of cognitive dysfunction to keep in mind. Medical illnesses such as thyroid disease or vitamin B12 deficiency can cause cognitive symptoms. Urinary tract infections or pneumonia can acutely cause confusion or hallucinations. In these settings, the cognitive symptoms are generally reversible after the infection or medical condition is treated. One should be aware that some medications for pain or bladder problems may cause sedation/sleepiness or confusion, and, thereby, impair cognitive function.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Seizure
Your symptoms depend on the type of seizure. General symptoms or warning signs of a seizure can include:
Breathing problems or stopping breathing
Loss of bowel or bladder control
Falling suddenly for no apparent reason, especially when associated with loss of consciousness
Not responding to noise or words for brief periods
Appearing confused or in a haze
Nodding your head rhythmically, when associated with loss of awareness or loss of consciousness
Periods of rapid eye blinking and staring
During the seizure, your lips may become tinted blue and your breathing may not be normal. After the seizure, you may be sleepy or confused.
The symptoms of a seizure may be like those of other health conditions. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Relationship Between Disrupted Neuronal Connectivity And Epileptic Seizures
Epilepsy is considered a disease of network dysfunction.47,48 At a microscopic level, both simple and complex partial seizures involve disruptions in the excitatory interactions between cerebral cortex pyramidal cells.49 From a neurophysiology view, the EEG-graphic representation of an epileptic event is characterized by the paroxysmal onset of hyper-synchronized sharp waves disrupting the neuronal background activity. This activity is often multifocal, reflecting a broader network dysfunction.50,51 Moreover, TMS studies demonstrate similar neurophysiologic features between epilepsy and PD characterized by a state of increased cortical excitability as indicated by reduced intra-cortical inhibition and increased intra-cortical facilitation observed in both patient populations.25,52â55 As mentioned before, in PD, cortical neurons innervating the basal ganglia become hyperexcitable, possibly as a compensatory mechanism following the incremental rise in the output threshold of striatal dopaminergic neurons. As such, it would not be surprising if this putatively maladaptive phenomenon may eventually lead to the generation of epileptiform activity. While epidemiologically, epilepsy-increased comorbidity in patients with PD remains questioned,13,56 our group published the largest case series of patients with PD with concomitant epilepsy57 raising the possibility that epileptic activity in these patients may indeed be under-diagnosed and under-recognized.
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Stage Three: Symptoms Are More Pronounced But You Can Still Function Without Assistance
The third stage is considered moderate Parkinsons disease. In this stage, youll experience obvious difficulty with walking, standing, and other physical movements. The symptoms can interfere with daily life. Youre more likely to fall, and your physical movements become much more difficult. However, most patients at this stage are still able to maintain independence and need little outside assistance.
Lifespan Of Those With Parkinson’s
Many people think PD automatically means a shorter lifespan, but this isnt necessarily true. The area is under-researched, and the research that has been done has yielded variable results.
A study done at the Mayo Clinic found that overall, patients with PD had similar lifespans to those without PD, but if PD dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies were present, that did contribute to increased mortality rates.1 For those with typical PD without dementia, compared to the general population, they died approximately a year earlier.1,2 PD is not a direct killer like heart attack, and there are steps individuals can take to help maintain their functioning and health.
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How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed
Diagnosing Parkinsons disease is sometimes difficult, since early symptoms can mimic other disorders and there are no specific blood or other laboratory tests to diagnose the disease. Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, may be used to rule out other disorders that cause similar symptoms.
To diagnose Parkinsons disease, you will be asked about your medical history and family history of neurologic disorders as well as your current symptoms, medications and possible exposure to toxins. Your doctor will look for signs of tremor and muscle rigidity, watch you walk, check your posture and coordination and look for slowness of movement.
If you think you may have Parkinsons disease, you should probably see a neurologist, preferably a movement disorders-trained neurologist. The treatment decisions made early in the illness can affect the long-term success of the treatment.
What Causes Alzheimers And Parkinsons Seizures
It is well known that damage to the brain can mean people start having seizures. Degenerative diseases such as Alzheimerâs and Parkinsonâs damage different parts of the brain and this is likely to be part of the reason why dementia and epilepsy sometimes occur together.
Looking specifically at epilepsy and Alzheimerâs disease, researchers have found that the condition makes certain chemical proteins build up in the brain. These proteins can make brain cells more âexcitableâ which may make seizures more likely too.
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Directions Of Deep Brain Stimulation For Epilepsy And Parkinsons Disease
- 1Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
- 2Institute of Basic Medical Science, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
- 3Institute of Medical Informatics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
- 4Department of Psychology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Background: Deep brain stimulation is an effective treatment for movement disorders and neurological/psychiatric disorders. DBS has been approved for the control of Parkinson disease and epilepsy.
Objectives: A systematic review and possible future direction of DBS system studies is performed in the open loop and closed-loop configuration on PD and epilepsy.
Methods: We searched Google Scholar database for DBS system and development. DBS search results were categorized into clinical device and research system from the open-loop and closed-loop perspectives.
Results: We performed literature review for DBS on PD and epilepsy in terms of system development by the open loop and closed-loop configuration. This study described development and trends for DBS in terms of electrode, recording, stimulation, and signal processing. The closed-loop DBS system raised a more attention in recent researches.
We overviewed development and progress of DBS. Our results suggest that the closed-loop DBS is important for PD and epilepsy.
The 5 Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
Getting older is underrated by most. Its a joyful experience to sit back, relax and watch the people in your life grow up, have kids of their own and flourish. Age can be a beautiful thing, even as our bodies begin to slow down. We spoke with David Shprecher, DO, movement disorders director at Banner Sun Health Research Institute about a well-known illness which afflicts as many as 2% of people older than 65, Parkinsons Disease.
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What Is Cognition
First, what is cognition? Cognition is a general term that refers to the mental abilities that we use to process information and apply knowledge. These mental processes allow us to perform daily functions such as paying attention, solving problems, and remembering where items are and how to do certain tasks.When people typically talk about cognition, they often focus on memory, but memory is only one aspect of cognition. Rather, in the study of cognition, we talk about cognitive domains which reflect different types of cognitive processes and are described in detail below.
1. Attention and working memory:
Attention is the ability to selectively focus on a particular aspect of ones environment, often while ignoring competing stimuli. In PD, people may find it difficult to concentrate on a conversation or reading a book. It may be challenging to talk to someone while walking and maintaining balance. Working memory refers to the memory process of temporarily storing information in ones mind and manipulating it over a short period. Mental arithmetic is one example of working memory function. These cognitive processes are often linked to alertness. Sleepiness and sedating medications can impair attention and working memory function. These cognitive processes involve the frontal and parietal lobes in the brain. Working memory also involves the basal ganglia and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, regions affected in PD.
2. Executive function:
What You Can Do
As of 2021, there is no definite cure for Parkinsons disease. There is also no definite known cause. Its likely due to a combination of an individuals susceptibility and environmental factors. Most cases of Parkinsons disease happen without a genetic link.
According to research published in 2012, only report having a family member with the disease. Many toxins are suspected and have been studied, but no single substance can be reliably linked to Parkinsons.
However, research is ongoing. Its estimated that
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What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
Symptoms of Parkinsons disease and the rate of decline vary widely from person to person. The most common symptoms include:
Other symptoms include:
- Speech/vocal changes: Speech may be quick, become slurred or be soft in tone. You may hesitate before speaking. The pitch of your voice may become unchanged .
- Handwriting changes: You handwriting may become smaller and more difficult to read.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Sleeping disturbances including disrupted sleep, acting out your dreams, and restless leg syndrome.
- Pain, lack of interest , fatigue, change in weight, vision changes.
- Low blood pressure.