Parkinson’s In Adolf Hitler
There’s speculation that Adolf Hitler may have suffered from Parkinson’s disease by the end of his life in 1945, he had a major tremor in his left hand. At least one study suggests that Hitler’s disease and his so-called “Parkinson’s personality” may have contributed to Germany’s defeat in World War II.
In that study, a team of neurologists speculated that Hitler’s “questionable and risky decision-making and his inhumane and callous personality” both were influenced and magnified by Parkinson’s disease.
However, Hitler may have had other medical conditions that contributed to his temperament and personality he might have suffered from bipolar disorder , and he may also have been a drug addict.
Foster A Good Relationship
Lastly, maintaining your relationship and communication with the person with Parkinsonâs can be the most challenging and rewarding aspect of caregiving. As Parkinsonâs disease progresses, the roles change and the person with Parkinsonâs may go from being an independent head of the household to a very dependent person requiring a significant level of care. However, research shows that despite high levels of strain, caregivers with good quality relationships have reduced depression and better physical health. Remember, as a caregiver your service to your loved one is beyond measure in terms of love, depth of care, and concern.
Changes In Sleeping Patterns
As Parkinsons progresses, you can also develop problems with sleep patterns. These may not happen in the early stages, but can be noticeable later. You might wake up often in the middle of the night or sleep more during the day than you do at night.
Another common sleep disturbance for people with Parkinsons is rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. This is when you start acting out your dreams in your sleep, such as verbally and physically, which can get uncomfortable if someone is sharing your bed. Dr. Rundle-Gonzalez says many times a bed partner will be the one to notice sleep problems.
REM sleep behavior disorder can also happen in people who dont have Parkinsons. However, if this isnt something youve dealt with before, its likely related to your disease. There are medications your doctor can prescribe to help you sleep comfortably through the night.
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What Can You Do About Weight Loss Associated With Pd
If you do find yourself unable to maintain a healthy weight, discuss this with your doctor. The good news is that after a medical workup, he or she may suggest one or more of the following steps that can help you:
Tips and takeaways
- Despite a diagnosis of PD, weight loss should prompt a full medical workup.
- Weight loss that is attributed to PD can be caused by a variety of reasons including decreased appetite, increased energy expenditure, swallowing difficulties, and poor gut motility.
- Weight loss has been linked to a poorer quality of life in PD and may contribute to increasing frailty.
- There are steps you can take that may help. Depending on the causes contributing to weight loss, efforts to counteract weight loss could include consultation with a dietician, swallow evaluation and PD medication adjustment.
- As with all symptoms, discuss your concerns about weight loss with your doctor.
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Dr. Rebecca Gilbert
APDA Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
What Is Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder. Characteristics of Parkinsons disease are progressive loss of muscle control, which leads to trembling of the limbs and head while at rest, stiffness, slowness, and impaired balance. As symptoms worsen, it may become difficult to walk, talk, and complete simple tasks.
The progression of Parkinson’s disease and the degree of impairment vary from person to person. Many people with Parkinson’s disease live long productive lives, whereas others become disabled much more quickly. Complications of Parkinsons such as falling-related injuries or pneumonia. However, studies of patent populations with and without Parkinsons Disease suggest the life expectancy for people with the disease is about the same as the general population.
Most people who develop Parkinson’s disease are 60 years of age or older. Since overall life expectancy is rising, the number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease will increase in the future. Adult-onset Parkinson’s disease is most common, but early-onset Parkinson’s disease , and juvenile-onset Parkinson’s disease can occur.
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Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Parkinsons Disease
If you have Parkinsons disease or youre a Parkinsons caregiver, you know that the condition affects more than just bodily movements. Its much more than just tremors, stiffness, and the occasional balance problem.
We asked our Living with Parkinsons Disease Facebook community to share some of the most insensitive things people have said about the condition. Here are a few things theyve heard and what they wish theyd heard instead.
Parkinsons is a chronic, degenerative disease. This means that the symptoms get worse over time. Every case is individual, so what your friend looks like or is experiencing may be completely different from a family member suffering with the same disease.
Its impossible to predict where your friend will be a year from now, let alone ten years from now. Motor symptoms are often the first signs of Parkinsons disease. These symptoms include difficulty with balance, trouble walking or standing, and resting tremors. However, these symptoms can be indicators of other conditions too. Because of this, it can take years before someone receives an official diagnosis.
While most people with Parkinsons are diagnosed after the age of 60, the disease can affect anyone over the age of 18. Although theres currently no cure for it, new treatments, medications, and surgeries allow individuals to live a fulfilling and productive life no matter what age theyre diagnosed.
What It Feels Like To Have Parkinsons Disease
In 1985, science journalist Jon Palfreman investigated a group of drug addicts who were struck with Parkinsons-like symptoms after taking tainted heroin.
Thirty years later, Palfreman was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease himself. His book, “Brain Storms,” describes his journey with the disease and new treatments for patients.;
Initially I denied and sought second opinions. I got pretty angry. I tried to keep it secret for a while, just like Michael J. Fox did, Palfreman says, It took me, Id say, about a year before I really processed it properly and then I realized that I had a destiny to use my training as a science journalist and my insights as a patient to explore this malady, which was now going to be part of my life.;
About 60,000 people each year in the US alone are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Palfreman says the malady means many things that he;used to do automatically, now come with much more difficulty.;
It is very much like getting on a plane and going to London and renting a car. You can drive on the left-hand side of the road, but you have to use your conscious brain to pay attention. Everything’s a bit harder. When I walk, I have to sort of consciously move my arms back and forth. Whereas, when a healthy person does it, it’s automatic. And so a lot of things that you got for free you have to work at, Palfreman says.;
Palfreman says there are other things people with Parkinsons can do to control the disease.;
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Improving Flexibility And Range Of Motion
Improving your flexibility can help you improve your balance and gait, as well as reduce rigidity. Try these exercises:
- Sit in a chair and bend your upper body at the waist to your right and left.
- Get on all fours and turn your upper body to the right and left. Lift your arm on the side youre turning to as you turn.
Also work on lower-body strength training. Strength training can help you improve your balance, walk further distances, and potentially increase your walking speed. Some exercises to try include:
- Leg presses. While sitting down, push a weight away from your body using your legs.
- Squats. Start in an upright position with your legs slightly wider than hip distance. Bend your knees while pushing your glute muscles back, so that your knees dont come over your toes. You can hold onto something if necessary. You dont have to go down more than a few inches.
- Exercise bike. If you have access to a recumbent exercise bike , using the bike can help strengthen your legs.
- Repeatedly sit in and rise out of a chair. Repeating the motions of sitting down and rising helps strengthen your leg and core muscles. It also helps you practice a functional activity.
Parkinson’s Disease Diet And Nutrition
Maintaining Your Weight With Parkinson’s Disease
Malnutrition and weight maintenance is often an issue for people with Parkinson’s disease. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Weigh yourself once or twice a week, unless your doctor recommends weighing yourself often. If you are taking diuretics or steroids, such as prednisone, you should weigh yourself daily.
- If you have an unexplained weight gain or loss , contact your doctor. He or she may want to modify your food or fluid intake to help manage your condition.
- Avoid low-fat or low-calorie products. . Use whole milk, whole milk cheese, and yogurt.
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Hallucinations And Delusions In Parkinsons Disease
It might be surprising to learn that 20 to 30 percent of people with Parkinsons disease will experience visual hallucinations. While typically not a symptom of PD itself, they can develop as a result to a change in PD medication or as a symptom of an unrelated infection or illness. It is important to know the signs of hallucinations and how to manage them. ;;
Hallucinations and other more severe perceptual changes can be distressing to family often more so than to the person experiencing them. For the well-being of people with PD and caregivers, it is important to identify hallucinations as early as possible and take steps to reduce them.
The following article is based on the latest research and a Parkinsons Foundation Expert Briefings;about hallucinations and delusions in Parkinsons hosted by Christopher G. Goetz, MD, Professor of Neurological Sciences, ;Professor of Pharmacology at Rush University Medical Center, a Parkinsons Foundation;Center of Excellence.
Caregiving For People Living With Parkinsons
Caring for a loved one with PD can be a challenging job, especially as the disease progresses. Former caregivers of a loved one with PD suggest doing the following : Get prepared, Take care of yourself, Get help , Work to maintain a good relationship with your loved one, and Encourage the person with PD for whom you care, to stay active.
Preparing for caregiving starts with education. Reading this fact sheet is a good start. More resources are available to you in theResources section of this fact sheet. Early Parkinsonâs disease usually requires more emotional support and less hands-on care. It is a good time for family members/caregivers to educate themselves about the disease.
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Living With Parkinson Disease
These measures can help you live well with Parkinson disease:
- An exercise routine can help keep muscles flexible and mobile. Exercise also releases natural brain chemicals that can improve emotional well-being.
- High protein meals can benefit your brain chemistry
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help your ability to care for yourself and communicate with others
- If you or your family has questions about Parkinson disease, want information about treatment, or need to find support, you can contact the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Treatment Depends On Properly Identifying The Type
If pain is bilateral always assume it is central pain; pain due to PD. In my experience Azilect works great for this type of pain. Other medications which can be employed for this pain as well.
Massage therapy works for all types of leg pain-my favorite therapy but can be costly. Water therapy may also work for all types except central pain. Physical therapy can alleviate dystonia pain, as well as musculoskeletal and radicular pain.
If pain is due to dystonia related to levodopa intake, find out when it occursend of dose or at peak dose. Typically adjusting medication doses will resolve problem. However, if dystonia is an initial symptom of PD, initiating treatment with levodopa will resolve. If medication adjustment does not work well for levodopa induced dystonia, another treatment option is DBS . Pain due to dystonia independent of cause can also respond well to Botox injections, as well as centrally acting muscle relaxants. To avoid and alleviate pain caused by stiff muscles, a great treatment option is activity in the form of stretching exercisesany number of activities will do such as tai-chi or yoga. For me when I start having radicular pain shooting down my leg it is time to up my levodopa dosage.
If you are having leg pain make sure to discuss it with your physician.
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What Is The Outlook For Persons With Parkinsons Disease
Although there is no cure or absolute evidence of ways to prevent Parkinsons disease, scientists are working hard to learn more about the disease and find innovative ways to better manage it, prevent it from progressing and ultimately curing it.
Currently, you and your healthcare teams efforts are focused on medical management of your symptoms along with general health and lifestyle improvement recommendations . By identifying individual symptoms and adjusting the course of action based on changes in symptoms, most people with Parkinsons disease can live fulfilling lives.
The future is hopeful. Some of the research underway includes:
- Using stem cells to produce new neurons, which would produce dopamine.
- Producing a dopamine-producing enzyme that is delivered to a gene in the brain that controls movement.
- Using a naturally occurring human protein glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, GDNF to protect dopamine-releasing nerve cells.
Many other investigations are underway too. Much has been learned, much progress has been made and additional discoveries are likely to come.
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.
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What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease
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
- 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.
Are You A Carer
Sleep and night-time problems are almost twice as common among;carers of people with Parkinsons;than in the general population.
If you are caring for someone with Parkinsons, these sleep disturbances may lead to an increased risk of depression and stress.
It may be difficult sometimes, but if youre a carer its important to have good sleeping habits. This will help improve your health, wellbeing and general quality of life.
Much of the advice on this page applies to you as a carer as well as the person you care for.
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How Is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed
Someone with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be sent to see a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in the brain, nerves, and muscles. The neurologist may do some tests, including a brain scan and blood tests. These tests will not make the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, but the doctor will want to make sure that there is no other problem causing the symptoms. To diagnose Parkinson’s disease, the doctor relies on a person’s medical history, symptoms, and a physical exam.
Lewy Body Dementia Vs Parkinsons Disease Dementia
Diagnoses of Lewy body dementia include dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinsons disease dementia. Symptoms in both of these diagnoses can be similar.
Lewy body dementia is a progressive dementia caused by abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. Lewy bodies are also seen in Parkinsons disease.
The overlap in symptoms between Lewy body dementia and Parkinsons disease dementia include movement symptoms, rigid muscles, and problems with thinking and reasoning.
This seems to indicate that they could be linked to the same abnormalities, though more research is needed to confirm that.
The later stages of Parkinsons disease have more severe symptoms that may require help moving around, around-the-clock care, or a wheelchair. Quality of life can decline rapidly.
Risks of infection, incontinence, pneumonia, falls, insomnia, and choking increase.
Hospice care, memory care, home health aides, social workers, and support counselors can be a help in later stages.
Parkinsons disease itself isnt fatal, but complications can be.
Research has shown a median survival rate of about
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