Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeMust ReadHow Can You Tell If Someone Has Parkinson's Disease

How Can You Tell If Someone Has Parkinson’s Disease

Depression And Anxiety Are Also Early Warning Signs Of Parkinson’s How So

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

A: Like the other symptoms discussed here, late-onset depression and anxiety are nonmotor prodromal manifestations of the condition. It’s not that everyone who is depressed will get Parkinson’s, and the numbers are lower than they are for symptoms like anosmia and REM behavior disorder. But the link is important to explore, and we are doing more research on it all the time.

Whats The Connection Between Parkinsons And Infections

Some severe viral and bacterial infections lead to encephalitis, which is a dangerous condition that causes inflammation in the brain. Encephalitis can cause Parkinson-like symptoms. This has led researchers to explore the connections between viral infections and Parkinsonism.

To date, this research has been limited. Its possible that infections play a role in the development of Parkinsons disease, but researchers have yet to find any clear connections.

Viruses being investigated include:

To be clear, getting one of these viruses does not mean that you will get Parkinsons disease. Researchers are trying to determine if infectious illnesses may change something in a persons body that makes them more vulnerable to the condition.

Researchers are trying to see if there are connections between illnesses in earlier life and increased risks for Parkinsons disease.

According to a 2019 review of studies , there is some evidence suggesting that:

  • People who get the flu vaccination may be less likely to get Parkinsons disease than people who dont.
  • People with higher levels of the herpes simplex virus in their bodies may have more severe Parkinsons disease symptoms.
  • People with Parkinsons are more likely to have had the Epstein-Barr virus than the general population.
  • People with a history of hepatitis C may be more likely to get Parkinsons disease than others.

Risk factors for Parkinsons disease include:

Volunteer To Help Out

Everyday responsibilities like shopping, cooking, and cleaning become much more difficult when you have a movement disorder.

Sometimes people with Parkinsons need help with these and other tasks, but they may be too proud or embarrassed to ask for it.

Step in and offer to run errands, prepare meals, drive to medical appointments, pick up medications at the drug store, and help with any other day-to-day tasks they have difficulty with on their own.

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Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually develop gradually and are mild at first.

There are many different symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Some of the more common symptoms are described below.

However, the order in which these develop and their severity is different for each individual. It’s unlikely that a person with Parkinson’s disease would experience all or most of these.

Living With A Husband Who Has Parkinsons

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For the most part, living with Parkinsons is like having a third person with you at all times. Imagine having someone with you who takes control randomly and changes his mind at will. Its stressful. The major issue I have found living with Parkinsons is its unpredictability.

In terms of our lives, I am most challenged by my inability to plan. I never know how Parkinsons will impact my husband. Dennis can be doing something fairly normal, such as having dinner or watching television. Then, suddenly, he cant walk. Sometimes his is even frozen in place. He can be ready to go to a football game one minute and unable to get out of the car the next. He can enter a party with enthusiasm looking energetic and lively and find that he has to leave the festivities a half hour later hardly able to navigate out the door. Our lives have become a best guess scenario in terms of how Dennis body will perform at any given time.

This unpredictability is often misunderstood by people who dont know Parkinsons symptoms or appreciate the complexity of the disease. I understand their confusion and sometimes disbelief. It is difficult to accept that a person with Parkinsons who looks healthy enough one when he entered the room lacks the control to buck-up, push through or hold on a minute.

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How Is Parkinson Disease Treated

Parkinson disease can’t be cured. But there are different therapies that can help control symptoms. Many of the medicines used to treat Parkinson disease help to offset the loss of the chemical dopamine in the brain. Most of these medicines help manage symptoms quite successfully.

A procedure called deep brain stimulation may also be used to treat Parkinson disease. It sends electrical impulses into the brain to help control tremors and twitching movements. Some people may need surgery to manage Parkinson disease symptoms. Surgery may involve destroying small areas of brain tissue responsible for the symptoms. However, these surgeries are rarely done since deep brain stimulation is now available.

Behaviors Seen In Parkinsons Disease Dementia

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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How To Test For Parkinson’s Disease

This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 44,456 times.

Parkinsons Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting both motor and non-motor abilities. It afflicts 1% of those over 60 years of age.XResearch sourceJOHN D. GAZEWOOD, MD, MSPH,D. ROXANNE RICHARDS, MD,KARL CLEBAK, MD, Parkinsons An Update, The American Family Physician, 2013 Feb 15 87:267-273 It is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system. PD is caused by a lack of dopamine, a chemical that helps the parts of your brain responsible for motor function communicate with each other. This condition often causes tremors, muscle stiffness, slowness, and poor balance. If you suspect that you, or someone you love, has Parkinsons, it is important to know how you can diagnose this condition. Begin by trying to identify symptoms of the disease at home, and then see your doctor for an appropriate medical diagnosis.XResearch source

How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better And How Long Will It Take To Recover

Approach to the Exam for Parkinson’s Disease

The time it takes to recover and see the effects of Parkinson’s disease treatments depends strongly on the type of treatments, the severity of the condition and other factors. Your healthcare provider is the best person to offer more information about what you can expect from treatment. The information they give you can consider any unique factors that might affect what you experience.

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What Makes Pd Hard To Predict

Parkinsonâs comes with two main buckets of possible symptoms. One affects your ability to move and leads to motor issues like tremors and rigid muscles. The other bucket has non-motor symptoms, like pain, loss of smell, and dementia.

You may not get all the symptoms. And you canât predict how bad theyâll be, or how fast theyâll get worse. One person may have slight tremors but severe dementia. Another might have major tremors but no issues with thinking or memory. And someone else may have severe symptoms all around.

On top of that, the drugs that treat Parkinsonâs work better for some people than others. All that adds up to a disease thatâs very hard to predict.

What You Can Expect

Parkinson does follow a broad pattern. While it moves at different paces for different people, changes tend to come on slowly. Symptoms usually get worse over time, and new ones probably will pop up along the way.

Parkinsonâs doesnât always affect how long you live. But it can change your quality of life in a major way. After about 10 years, most people will have at least one major issue, like dementia or a physical disability.

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What Medications And Treatments Are Used

Medication treatments for Parkinsons disease fall into two categories: Direct treatments and symptom treatments. Direct treatments target Parkinsons itself. Symptom treatments only treat certain effects of the disease.

Medications

Medications that treat Parkinsons disease do so in multiple ways. Because of that, drugs that do one or more of the following are most likely:

Several medications treat specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms treated often include the following:

  • Erectile and sexual dysfunction.
  • Hallucinations and other psychosis symptoms.

Deep brain stimulation

In years past, surgery was an option to intentionally damage and scar a part of your brain that was malfunctioning because of Parkinsons disease. Today, that same effect is possible using deep-brain stimulation, which uses an implanted device to deliver a mild electrical current to those same areas.

The major advantage is that deep-brain stimulation is reversible, while intentional scarring damage is not. This treatment approach is almost always an option in later stages of Parkinson’s disease when levodopa therapy becomes less effective, and in people who have tremor that doesnt seem to respond to the usual medications.

Experimental treatments

Researchers are exploring other possible treatments that could help with Parkinsons disease. While these arent widely available, they do offer hope to people with this condition. Some of the experimental treatment approaches include:

Medication Not Working The Way It Used To

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In the early stages, taking medicine works well to get rid of symptoms. But as Parkinsons progresses, your medication works for shorter periods of time, and symptoms return more easily. Your doctor will need to change your prescription.

Dr. Valerie Rundle-Gonzalez, a Texas-based neurologist, says to pay attention to how long your medicine takes to kick in and when it stops working. She says you should feel like symptoms significantly improve or are almost gone while on medication.

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Other Causes Of Parkinsonism

“Parkinsonism” is the umbrella term used to describe the symptoms of tremors, muscle rigidity and slowness of movement.

Parkinson’s disease is the most common type of parkinsonism, but there are also some rarer types where a specific cause can be identified.

These include parkinsonism caused by:

  • medication where symptoms develop after taking certain medications, such as some types of antipsychotic medication, and usually improve once the medication is stopped
  • other progressive brain conditions such as progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple systems atrophy, and corticobasal degeneration
  • cerebrovascular disease where a series of small strokes cause several parts of the brain to die

You can read more about parkinsonism on the Parkinson’s UK website.

Who Is Most At Risk For Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a progressive movement disorder that affects an estimated 1 million people in the U.S. With PD, nerve cells in the brain break down or die. Many of these nerve cells produce dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain. This causes abnormal brain activity and impairs movement along with other PD symptoms. Risk factors include age, heredity, and gender. Some of these are clear others are not. Lets look at who is at most risk for developing Parkinsons disease.

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Changes In Cognition And Parkinsons Disease

Some people with Parkinsons may experience changes in their cognitive function, including problems with memory, attention, and the ability to plan and accomplish tasks. Stress, depression, and some medications may also contribute to these changes in cognition.

Over time, as the disease progresses, some people may develop dementia and be diagnosed with Parkinsons dementia, a type of Lewy body dementia. People with Parkinsons dementia may have severe memory and thinking problems that affect daily living.

Talk with your doctor if you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinsons disease and is experiencing problems with thinking or memory.

Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease

The Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

About 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s disease, and both men and women can get it. Symptoms usually appear when someone is older than 50 and it becomes more common as people get older.

Many people wonder if you’re more likely to get Parkinson’s disease if you have a relative who has it. Although the role that heredity plays isn’t completely understood, we do know that if a close relative like a parent, brother, or sister has Parkinson’s, there is a greater chance of developing the disease. But Parkinson’s disease is not contagious. You can’t get it by simply being around someone who has it.

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Taking Dance A Step Further

Pamela Quinn, a professional dancer and Parkinsons coach, tells WebMD that when she was diagnosed with the disease in her 40s, she thought it was the end of dancing.

But dance became my savior, not something that needed to be discarded, and the reason is that its physical and social and, together with music, has the power to change ones mood. And this unusual array of elements is particularly suited to help people with Parkinsons, she says.

When she was first diagnosed, she wanted to have a second child and was determined to find non-chemical ways of improving my gait, balance, and postures. She began to discover cues, external prompts that facilitate movement, which are naturally embedded in the dance form.

When the iPod was developed, it allowed Quinn to take dance experience and integrate it into everyday life. With that, she was not only dancing in a studio whenever she was walking and wearing headphones, she was reinforcing good movement patterns with music.

Quinn, who today takes medication and continues to dance, says she is an outlier in terms of Parkinsons disease progression.

Ive had this disease for over 25 years, and Im doing fairly well, which I attribute to the dance background and also integrating these techniques into everyday life so its not just once a week in a dance class setting, she says.

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Related Conditions And Causes Of Parkinsons Disease

Many conditions can cause symptoms that are similar to those of Parkinsons disease, including the following:

  • Essential tremor

This foundation was founded in 2000 by the actor Michael J. Fox, who received a diagnosis of young-onset Parkinsons disease in 1991. Take a look at Parkinsons 360, the foundations guide for living with Parkinsons. Or if youd like to join a Parkinsons research study, visit the Fox Trial Finder.

With a mission to empower people with Parkinsons, this foundation funds research geared toward improving care and treatment for the disease. Sign up for their newsletter to receive news updates and information about Parkinsons resources. Or if you need help connecting with a health professional, call the foundations helpline at 800-4PD-INFO .

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What Raises Someones Risk For Parkinsons

Its a complex picture, but you may be more likely to get Parkinsons based on:

Age. Since it mostly affects people 60 and older, your risk goes up as the years go by.

Family history. If your parent, brother, or sister has it, youre a little more likely to get it.

Job. Some types of work, like farming or factory jobs, can cause you to have contact with chemicals linked to Parkinsons.

Race. It shows up more often in white people than other groups.

Serious head injury. If you hit your head hard enough to lose consciousness or forget things as a result of it, you may be more likely to get Parkinsons later in life.

Gender. Men get it more than women. Doctors arent sure why.

Where you live. People in rural areas seem to get it more often, which may be tied to chemicals used in farming.

What Doctors Look For When Diagnosing Parkinsons

Off and On: The Alaska Parkinson

Certain physical signs and symptoms noticed by the patient or his or her loved ones are usually what prompt a person to see the doctor. These are the symptoms most often noticed by patients or their families:

  • Shaking or tremor: Called resting tremor, a trembling of a hand or foot that happens when the patient is at rest and typically stops when he or she is active or moving

  • Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement in the limbs, face, walking or overall body

  • Rigidity: Stiffness in the arms, legs or trunk

  • Posture instability: Trouble with balance and possible falls

Once the patient is at the doctors office, the physician:

  • Takes a medical history and does a physical examination.

  • Asks about current and past medications. Some medications may cause symptoms that mimic Parkinsons disease.

  • Performs a neurological examination, testing agility, muscle tone, gait and balance.

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