Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
HomeQuestionsHow Can I Tell If I Have Parkinson Disease

How Can I Tell If I Have Parkinson Disease

What Am I Doing About Pd

Should I tell people I have Parkinson’s Disease?

In addition to this blog, I actively raise funds to support research for a cure. My wife and I produce a podcast for people with PD and their dependents called You, Me, and PD. I am a board member for the Young Onset Parkinson’s Network . At work, I am a member of our disability Employee Resource Group and lead communications including producing our monthly newsletter.

What Can You Do If You Have Pd

  • Work with your doctor to create a plan to stay healthy. This might include the following:
  • A referral to a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in the brain
  • Care from an occupational therapist, physical therapist or speech therapist
  • Meeting with a medical social worker to talk about how Parkinson’s will affect your life
  • Start a regular exercise program to delay further symptoms.
  • Talk with family and friends who can provide you with the support you need.
  • For more information, visit our Treatment page.

    Page reviewed by Dr. Chauncey Spears, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.

    Severe Headaches Are A Main Symptom Of Parkinson’s Disease

    There are several common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, though severe headaches are not one of them. PD is diagnosed when a person has one or more of the four most common motor symptoms of the disease that include resting tremor, slow movement , rigidity, and difficulty balancing when standing . There are other secondary motor and non-motor symptoms that also occur with PD. Symptoms may be experienced differently by each person and the progression of the disease is different for everyone as well. For example, some people may have tremor as a primary symptom, while another may not have tremors but may have postural instability.

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    Increased Feelings Of Anxiety Or Depression

    Anxiety and depression have been linked to Parkinsons. In addition to movement problems, the disease can also have an impact on your mental health. Its possible that changes in your emotional well-being can be a sign of changing physical health as well.

    If you are more anxious than usual, have lost interest in things, or feel a sense of hopelessness, talk to your doctor.

    Diagnosis Of Parkinsons Disease


    A number of disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s-like symptoms that result from other causes are sometimes said to have parkinsonism. While these disorders initially may be misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s, certain medical tests, as well as response to drug treatment, may help to distinguish them from Parkinson’s. Since many other diseases have similar features but require different treatments, it is important to make an exact diagnosis as soon as possible.

    There are currently no blood or laboratory tests to diagnose nongenetic cases of Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosis is based on a person’s medical history and a neurological examination. Improvement after initiating medication is another important hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.

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    Testing For Parkinsons Disease

    There is no lab or imaging test that is recommended or definitive for Parkinsons disease. However, in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an imaging scan called the DaTscan. This technique allows doctors to see detailed pictures of the brains dopamine system.

    A DaTscan involves an injection of a small amount of a radioactive drug and a machine called a single-photon emission computed tomography scanner, similar to an MRI.

    The drug binds to dopamine transmitters in the brain, showing where in the brain dopaminergic neurons are.

    The results of a DaTscan cant show that you have Parkinsons, but they can help your doctor confirm a diagnosis or rule out a Parkinsons mimic.

    How Is Parkinson’s Disease Treated

    If a doctor thinks a person has Parkinson’s disease, there’s reason for hope. Medicine can be used to eliminate or improve the symptoms, like the body tremors. And some experts think that a cure may be found soon.

    For now, a medicine called levodopa is often given to people who have Parkinson’s disease. Called “L-dopa,” this medicine increases the amount of dopamine in the body and has been shown to improve a person’s ability to walk and move around. Other drugs also help decrease and manage the symptoms by affecting dopamine levels. In some cases, surgery may be needed to treat it. The person would get anesthesia, a special kind of medicine to prevent pain during the operation.

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    Medications For People With Parkinsons Disease

    Symptoms of Parkinsons disease result from the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and other organs such as the gut, which produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This causes a deficiency in the availability of dopamine, which is necessary for smooth and controlled movements. Medication therapy focuses on maximising the availability of dopamine in the brain. Medication regimes are individually tailored to your specific need. Parkinsons medications fit into one of the following broad categories:

    • levodopa dopamine replacement therapy
    • dopamine agonists mimic the action of dopamine
    • COMT inhibitors used along with levodopa. This medication blocks an enzyme known as COMT to prevent levodopa breaking down in the intestine, allowing more of it to reach the brain
    • anticholinergics block the effect of another brain chemical to rebalance its levels with dopamine
    • amantadine has anticholinergic properties and improves dopamine transmission
    • MAO type B inhibitors prevent the metabolism of dopamine within the brain.

    Causes Of Parkinsons Disease

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    At present, we do not know the cause of Parkinsons disease. In most people there is no family history of Parkinsons Researchers worldwide are investigating possible causes, including:

    • environmental triggers, pesticides, toxins, chemicals
    • genetic factors
    • combinations of environment and genetic factors
    • head trauma.

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    How Are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies Linked To Hashimotos And Graves Disease

    High thyroid peroxidase antibodies are associated with thyroiditis and an autoimmune response. When the lymphocytes see something that they dont recognize, they bring in inflammatory armies and work to destroy the foreign substance.

    Alone, elevated thyroid peroxidase antibodies arent enough to diagnose Hashimotos thyroiditis but they are a sure sign of heightened autoimmune activity and a possible sign of autoimmune thyroiditis or future thyroid disease.

    Often, Graves disease can cause tremors and a Sympathetic Nervous System response where someone can literally be bouncing off of the walls and be all over the place.

    Graves disease also has a symptom of unexplained weight loss and people can have a skin on bones appearance. This is caused by the excessive amount of thyroid hormones produced in Graves disease.

    People with Graves disease almost seem like they want to crawl out of their own skin. Janices other thyroid hormones were all normal, so there wasnt enough evidence to diagnose her with Graves disease.

    Her total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides were all high. As I wrote about in one of my articles, high triglycerides is a hallmark sign of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can be another cause of high blood sugar, and chronic fatigue.

    Hypothyroidism causes a slow metabolism. In hypothyroidism, the liver continues making cholesterol and since the metabolism is slow , the cholesterol doesnt get broken down and will go high.

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

    Although individuals may experience symptoms differently, the four common signs of Parkinsons disease are:

    • Muscle rigidity or stiffness when the arm, leg, or neck is moved back and forth.
    • Tremorsinvoluntary movement from contracting musclesespecially when at rest.
    • Slowness in initiating movement.
    • Poor posture and balance that may cause falls or problems with walking.

    Get more information about Parkinsons disease from UR Medicine Neurosurgery.

    Every day, millions of people take selfies with their smartphones or webcams to share online. And they almost invariably smile when they do so.

    To Ehsan Hoque and his collaborators at the University of Rochester, those pictures are worth far more than the proverbial thousand words. Computer vision softwarebased on algorithms that the computer scientist and his lab have developedcan analyze the brief videos, including the short clips created while taking selfies, detecting subtle movements of facial muscles that are invisible to the naked eye.

    The software can then predict with remarkable accuracy whether a person who takes a selfie is likely to develop Parkinsons diseaseas reliably as expensive, wearable digital biomarkers that monitor motor symptoms. The researchers technology is described in Nature Digital Medicine.

    Though ethical and technological considerations still need to be addressed, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has agreed to fund this novel research through a $500,000 grant, effective November of 2021.

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    What Are The Symptoms

    Each person is affected differently by Parkinsons disease and no two people will experience exactly the same symptoms. The impact of Parkinsons disease can be unpredictable and it is common for people to have good days and bad days.

    The main symptoms of Parkinsons disease are:

    • tremor
    • rigidity
    • balance problems
    • problems with posture

    Other possible symptoms include difficulty initiating movement , a shuffling gait when walking, and freezing when trying to move . People might experience a loss of facial expression, speech problems , swallowing problems, bowel and bladder problems, difficulties at night and tiredness during the day. Skin can become greasy and people might experience excessive sweating. Sexual problems are common. People often experience depression and anxiety. Another common symptom is small handwriting .

    Other less common symptoms can include pain and memory problems.

    How Is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed

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    Diagnosis is difficult at every stage of the disease, but particularly in the early stages. No single test can provide a diagnosis. A diagnosis will likely involve physical and neurological examinations, conducted over time to assess changes in reflexes, coordination, muscle strength, and mental function. Your doctor might also see how you respond to medicine.

    You may need to have brain imaging tests to rule out other conditions that might be causing your symptoms. Such tests could include MRI and CT scans and possibly some other types of scans. Blood tests may also be done to exclude other illnesses.

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    Cognitive And Psychiatric Symptoms

    • depression and anxiety
    • mild cognitive impairment slight memory problems and problems with activities that require planning and organisation
    • dementia a group of symptoms, including more severe memory problems, personality changes, seeing things that are not there and believing things that are not true

    Living With Parkinson’s Disease

    As Parkinson’s develops, a person who has it may slow down and won’t be able to move or talk quickly. Sometimes, speech therapy and occupational therapy are needed. This may sound silly, but someone who has Parkinson’s disease may need to learn how to fall down safely.

    If getting dressed is hard for a person with Parkinson’s, clothing with Velcro and elastic can be easier to use than buttons and zippers. The person also might need to have railings installed around the house to prevent falls.

    If you know someone who has Parkinson’s disease, you can help by being a good friend.

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    Do What You Can While You Can

    I have had Parkinsons disease for nearly 20 years. My wife is a teacher, so we travel every summer when she is not working. Since my diagnosis, I have been to China, Nepal, Prague, Paris and many other places. The Parkinsons comes along, too, so our trips require more planning than they used to and we involve my care team. We factor in daily naps and take it slow. My balance isnt as good as it used to be and too much walking wears me out so we bring a collapsible wheelchair along or make sure one is available. I also use a cane. I dont know how many more places we will get to visit as my disease continues to progress, but we have made some wonderful memories that we wouldnt have if we had let my Parkinsons dictate every aspect of our lives. Nicholas, diagnosed at 52, still traveling at 72

    Many people with Parkinsons disease are not allowing the condition to take over their lives. Despite the everyday setbacks they face, they are still creating fulfilling lives for themselves by redirecting their attention to people and activities that bring them joy. You can do the same. Try building a few hobbies into your routine that will give you a break from dwelling on the disease. Find some activities that help you forget about Parkinsons for a while. That may be painting, writing, gardening, or reading to your grandchildren.

    Can High Potassium Cause Nerve Problems

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    Potassium is a very important electrolyte. You dont want too much and you dont want too little. Nerves conduct electrical signals through pumping sodium ions out of the cells and potassium ions into the cells.

    We actually have sodium potassium pumps in every cell in our body but nerves can only work through sodium and potassium exchange. That is why it is critically important to have the correct amount of these electrolytes in your blood.

    The adrenal glands and kidneys regulate sodium and potassium levels in the blood. When someone is in a chronic state of inflammation, has chronic blood sugar levels that fluctuate, or immune dysregulation, the adrenal glands can become fatigued and unable to help regulate electrolytes in a healthy way.

    High levels of potassium can cause muscle cramps, irritability, nerve problems, heart problems, diarrhea, and spasms.

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    Answer: The Signs Of Parkinsons Disease Are Subtle At First But They Are There

    Catching the signs of Parkinsons disease is difficult, so whether youre looking at your friends, family, or yourself, spotting them can be difficult at first. Part of this is due to severity. The symptoms of Parkinsons disease tend to start off very gently and can easily be missed. The other issues that symptoms can be widely varied. What you might see in one person with Parkinsons disease might be completely opposite of another person.

    One sign to look out for includes tremors. People may have an unexpected shaking in a limb, extending down to their hands and fingers. This is most obvious in someone when the hand is otherwise at rest. Muscle stiffness is another very common sign to look out for. This may occur anywhere on a persons body and might cause a person to lose some of their range of motion. In turn, this may decrease other unconscious movements. Things like blinking, smiles and moving your arms naturally as you move your body is often affected. That movement might also slow down quite a bit. This is known as bradykinesia. The gradual slowing down of a persons muscles and movements can really slow down life and the actions performed within it. Its also possible for people to find their balance and posture is not what it once was. Falling may be more common, as is stooping. Since the changes are gradual, people may never quite realize they are happening, so attention needs to be paid.

    Accept What You Can No Longer Do

    Over time, it may seem as though you are losing your independence because you can no longer do all the things you once did. As these losses occur, you will probably go through the five stages of grief identified by Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Being aware of the issue or loss to which you are reacting will help you to move from one stage to another more easily.

    No matter what your symptoms are, motor or non-motor symptoms, dont let Parkinsons beat you!

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    Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms Everyone Should Know

    Parkinsons disease symptoms can include tremor and trouble with movement, along with emotional and cognitive changes.

    Parkinson’s disease symptoms can vary significantly from person to person. Some people may have range of motor symptoms, like tremor, stiffness, and slow movements. Others may also experience the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as anxiety, cognitive changes, and loss of smell.

    It has to do with a chemical messenger known as dopamine, which plays a role in the brain’s ability to control movement, coordination, and emotional responses. In Parkinson’s disease, the brain cells that produce dopamine either stop doing their job or they die out, resulting in both motor and non-motor symptoms. It’s not always easy to tell if someone you care about has Parkinson’s disease. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of the disease and signs that someone should make an appointment with their doctor.

    What Does The Body’s Nervous System Control

    Slide Show

    The body’s central nervous system controls the five senses. The CNS is made up of your brain and spinal cord. The brain is what interprets our external environment, houses our thoughts and ideas, and controls our body movements. It acts like a central computer for our five senses, interpreting information from our eyes , ears , nose , tongue , and skin , as well as other sensations from internal organs such as the stomach. The spinal cord is the connection from the body to the brain, transmitting the signals our body receives to the brain, which then interprets them to make sense of our world. When the spinal cord is injured, this interrupts that communication.

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    Problems With Balance Or Walking

    Bradykinesia can also contribute to increasing instability, walking difficulties and changes in gait. An early symptom of this is a decrease in the natural swing of one or both arms when walking. As things progress, the steps you take may become slower and smaller, and you may start shuffling your feet.

    Some people with Parkinsons disease may also experience freezing episodes where it can feel like their feet are stuck in place, which can increase the risk of falling.


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