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Stage Four: Symptoms Are Severe And Disabling And You Often Need Assistance To Walk Stand And Move
Stage Four Parkinson’s disease is often called advanced Parkinson’s disease. People in this stage experience severe and debilitating symptoms. Motor symptoms, such as rigidity and bradykinesia, are visible and difficult to overcome. Most people in Stage Four aren’t able to live alone. They need the assistance of a caregiver or home health aide to perform normal tasks.
Stage Three: Symptoms Are More Pronounced But You Can Still Function Without Assistance
The third stage is considered moderate Parkinson’s disease. In this stage, you’ll experience obvious difficulty with walking, standing, and other physical movements. The symptoms can interfere with daily life. You’re 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.
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Rate Of Progression Of Parkinsons Disease Hard To Predict
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My father is 64 and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year. So far his symptoms are very mild, but I’m wondering what the typical progression of the disease is like. I have read that deep brain stimulation is sometimes recommended. When is this type of treatment usually considered? Is it safe?
ANSWER: The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, or PD, tend to begin very gradually and then become progressively more severe. The rate of progression is hard to predict and is different from one person to another. Treatment for PD includes a variety of options, such as exercise, medication and surgery. Deep brain stimulation is one surgical possibility for treating PD, but it’s usually only considered in advanced cases when other treatments don’t effectively control symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease is a syndrome which typically has no known cause. The diagnosis is based on symptoms. Neurologists who specialize in movement disorders typically have the most experience with PD diagnosis and treatment. There are many symptoms of parkinsonism. The most common include excessive slowness and lack of movement, as well as shaking or tremor.
As in your father’s situation, symptoms are often mild at the outset. How quickly they get worse varies substantially, perhaps because there may be multiple underlying causes of the disease. In most cases, symptoms change slowly, with substantive progression taking place over the space of many months or years.
How Can Hospice Help Your Loved One In The Final Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
Hospice care is an extra layer of support to help you care for your loved one with end-stage Parkinson’s disease. It is a special kind of care that provides comfort, support, and dignity at the end of life.
The comprehensive program focuses on physical, emotional, and spiritual quality of life through the help of a team of experts. The team includes a board-certified physician, nurse, social worker, certified home health aide , spiritual support counselor, and volunteer.
The nurse will explain the prognosis and what to expect in the upcoming days or weeks. They will also monitor pain and other symptoms. The CHHA helps with personal care needs like bathing and changing bed linens. The social worker helps address social, emotional and practical challenges including complex and inter-related needs. The spiritual support counselor helps explore spiritual concerns.
Most importantly, the hospice team will be there for you during this difficult time, bringing you peace of mind. The team is on call 24 hours a day – even at 2:00 am.
Hospice is about making your final months and weeks as good as possible. This means focusing on what really matters to you.
Mean Life Expectancy In Patients With Pd Compared With The General Population
The estimated changes in LE compared with the general population for a range of possible SMR values, stratified by age and sex, using the Gompertz function and the 2003 UK mortality rates, are presented in table 2?2.. Calculated LEs ) and AAD ) were compared between patients with PD and the UK general population. The graphical comparisons show that LE and AAD are considerably shorter or earlier in patients with age at onset before 50years compared with the general UK population. This difference decreases with increasing age in females and males. The mean LE of patients with PD with onset between 25 and 39years was 38 years, corresponding to an AAD of 71 years compared with an LE of 49 and AAD of 82 years in the general population. The mean LE of patients with PD with onset between 40 and 64years was 21 years, resulting in an AAD of 73 years compared with an LE of 31 and an AAD of 83 years in the general population. The mean LE for older individuals with PD was 5 years, resulting in an AAD of 88 years compared with an LE of 9 years and an AAD of 91 years in the general population. The SMR calculations were the same for both sexes, and therefore changes in LE were the same, but the actual LE and AAD estimates were higher in women because they live longer, on average, than males in the general population.
Certain Early Symptoms In Parkinsons Disease May Predict Life Expectancy
Life expectancy among people with Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism is lower than the general population. Now, a study published in Neurology on November 27 suggests that certain symptoms may predict survival and the risk of mortality.
Assessing Disease Progression and Cognition
To identify predictors of mortality in Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism, a term used for neurologic disorders that lead to movement problems similar to those of Parkinson’s, the researchers analyzed 182 patients newly diagnosed with parkinsonism of an unknown cause in Northern Sweden from January 2004 to April 2009.
Of the 182 patients, 143 had Parkinson’s disease, 18 had progressive supranuclear palsy —a rare brain disorder that causes problems with walking, balance, and eye movements—13 had multiple system atrophy , a rare brain disorder that affects movement and balance and disrupts the function of the autonomic nervous, and four patients were unclassified. The researchers followed patients prospectively for up to 14 years.
Comparing Mortality Rates
The researchers reviewed the mortality rates in the general Swedish population to calculate the mortality rate and expected survival of participants relative to the entire population.
Factors Linked to Reduced Life Span
MCI Link to Earlier Mortality
Dealing With Parkinson’s Disease: A Guide For Patients And Families
Parkinson’s disease is an ongoing, progressive disease of the nervous system that affects a patient’s movement. Millions of individuals worldwide are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The cause of Parkinson’s disease is presently not known. However, research attributes the disease to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Age also plays a role. Most cases of Parkinson’s disease beginning after an individual is sixty years old.
Unfortunately, there is currently no Parkinson’s disease cure. There are, however, treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Many patients take Parkinson’s disease medications to control their symptoms. Occupational therapy is also a huge part of treating Parkinson’s disease. Overall, this condition requires intense treatment and symptom management for patients to live a full life.
Life Expectancy Of Parkinsonism Patients In The General Population
Absolute life expectancy estimates of parkinsonism are easy to translate to patients.
Patients with parkinsonism have a reduced life expectancy compared to matched controls.
The most prominent decrease in life expectancy is observed if parkinsonism is diagnosed before the age of 70.
The number of years lived with parkinsonism in the general population is relatively low.
What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Parkinson’s Disease
The severity of Parkinson’s disease symptoms and signs vary greatly from person to peson, and it is not possible to predict how quickly the disease will progress. Parkinson’s disease itself is not a fatal disease, and the average life expectancy is similar to that of people without the disease. Secondary complications, such as pneumonia, falling-related injuries, and choking can lead to death. Many treatment options can reduce some of the symptoms and prolong the quality of life.
Why It Is Hard To Detect The Progression Of Parkinsons Disease
As we stated above that Parkinson’s disease is not basic, it becomes difficult to detect it in its early stage due to 2 symptoms – it affects motor issues such as the rigid muscles and tremors, and the other is the development of non-motor symptoms such as dementia, pain, and loss of smell.
Although one cannot see that a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease will show all the symptoms, you cannot even tell or predict which symptoms will be present and their severity. For instance, one patient may show severe dementia with slight tremors. Another patient displays a critical condition of tremors but does not have any problem related to memory or thinking. In another case, the patient can show a severe state of all the symptoms. Therefore, it is difficult to predict the progression of the condition.
In addition to this, the medicines that help in treating Parkinson’s disease also make it difficult to predict the results because a few patients show positive results while others do not show any improvement.
What Is The Main Cause Of Death In Parkinsons Disease Patients
Parkinson’s is often referred to as a “bespoke” disease because it affects each patient differently. Another factor worth considering is that Parkinson’s disease generally affects people in their 60s, most of whom die of unrelated conditions such as cancer, heart disease or stroke. However, the most common cause of death in those with Parkinson’s disease is pneumonia. This is because the disease can impair your ability to swallow in the later stages, putting you at risk for aspirating food or liquid into the lungs.
Lifespan In Parkinson’s Nearly Identical To General Population
A new study finds that, overall, lifespan for those living with Parkinson’s disease is nearly identical to those in the general population. The study looked at a group of diseases called synucleinopathies, including Parkinson’s. The results appear in the May 15 online edition of JAMA Neurology.
Lewy bodies — clumps of alpha-synuclein protein that accumulate in certain brain cells — are the hallmark of PD. The clumps also occur in less common diseases – such as multiple system atrophy , dementia with Lewy bodies , and PD dementia – in which symptoms can be similar to those of typical Parkinson’s.
Researchers led by Rodolfo Savica, M.D., Ph.D., at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, compared lifespan and cause of death among people with synucleinopathies compared to the general population. They examined the medical records of all 461 people diagnosed with synucleinopathies in Olmsted County, MN, between 1991 and 2010. The scientists also analyzed records from individuals closely matched for age and sex who did not have these diagnoses.
What Does It Mean?
Overall, the study reminds us that people with Parkinson’s can live many years with the disease. With that in mind, people living with these diseases, their care partners and their families can take steps to plan for their health care and make important financial decisions.
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms
Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinson’s disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didn’t exercise or didn’t start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.
Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments — whether medicines or deep brain stimulation — are optimal; and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.
How Is Parkinsons Dementia Different From Alzheimers Disease
The advanced cognitive changes that impact daily living in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are both types of dementia.
Parkinson’s disease dementia can occur as Parkinson’s advances, after several years of motor symptoms. Dementia with Lewy Bodies is diagnosed when cognitive decline happens first, or when Parkinson’s motor symptoms and cognitive decline occur and progress closely together. Cognitive impairments in PDD, combined with the movement symptoms of the disease, produce a greater impact on social and occupational functioning than Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s, a fatal brain disease, causes declines in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Physicians can diagnose Alzheimer’s. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association to learn the 10 signs Alzheimer’s disease.
Fortunately for people with PD, Parkinson’s disease dementia is less disabling than Alzheimer’s disease. People with Alzheimer’s have language difficulties earlier than people with Parkinson’s, and no new memories are formed. People with PD also have more ability to compensate and adjust based on cues.
Is Parkinsons Disease Fatal Life Expectancy For Parkinsons Emma-Marie Smith
Worried about your Parkinson’s disease life expectancy? A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis comes with many worries and anxieties. One worry concerns the progression of the disease and whether Parkinson’s disease can be fatal. The issue is rarely straightforward, but there is no reason to think your condition is a death sentence. Many people live for years or decades with their Parkinson’s disease symptoms under control, while the illness progresses more quickly for others. It’s important that you know what to expect when you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and air your concerns to your doctor. For now, let’s explore the issue of life expectancy of patients with Parkinson’s disease and address some common concerns.
What Is The Best Way To Communicate With A Person With Pdd
- It is not usually helpful to try to reason or argue with someone experiencing a hallucination or delusion. Stay calm and be patient. If the person is frightened by the hallucination or delusion, try to redirect their attention to something else.
- You may find acknowledging what the person is seeing, even if you do not see it, can reduce stress.
- Speak slowly and at eye level. Communicate in simple sentences.
- Ask one question at a time and wait for an answer.
- Limit distractions. Turn off the TV or radio before asking a person with PDD to do something.
- Consider causes behind disruptive behavior: the person may be hungry, thirsty, tired, in pain, frustrated, lonely or bored.
- If the person is stuck on an idea, try agreeing with them, then changing the subject.
- It’s OK to use humor to diffuse stressful situations but avoid negative humor or sarcasm ? these can be misunderstood.
Page reviewed by Dr. Jori Fleisher, MSCE, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.
Complications Related To Parkinson’s Can Affect Survival Claudia Chaves, MD
Claudia Chaves, MD, is board-certified in cerebrovascular disease and neurology with a subspecialty certification in vascular neurology.
Parkinson’s is a common neurodegenerative disease, and although it is not fatal, research suggests it may influence life expectancy.
A 2012 study in Archives of Neurology examined the six-year survival of nearly 140,000 Medicare beneficiaries with Parkinson’s disease in the United States. During the six-year period, 64% of the participants with Parkinson’s disease passed away.
The risk of death of those with Parkinson’s was then compared to Medicare beneficiaries who did not have Parkinson’s or any other common diseases, including:
When controlling for variables like age, race, and gender, the six-year risk of death among people with Parkinson’s was found to be nearly four times greater than those Medicare beneficiaries without the disease or other common diseases.
At the same time, the rate of death among those with Parkinson’s disease was similar to those with hip fracture, Alzheimer’s dementia, or a recent heart attack—although it was higher than those who had been newly diagnosed with either colorectal cancer, stroke, ischemic heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
How Long Does It Take For Parkinsons Disease To Progress
It is quite common for any individual suffering from Parkinson’s disease to wonder about the unfolding of the condition. If you belong to the group that in search for the answers related to the progression of Parkinson’s disease, then you will try to learn about the symptoms that you can acquire with the condition, when they start, and the changes the disease brings in the body.
The questions are basic, but Parkinson’s disease is not. Like other illnesses, Parkinson’s disease does not have a specific path of progression. Due to this, it is difficult to state or pin down the exact time or the path of the progression.
Reported Standardised Mortality Ratios From 1935 To 2001
The SMRs or mortality ratios comparing PD cases and controls from 39 studies from 1935 to 2006 are reported in table 1?1.. The SMRs ranged from 1, indicating no differences compared with the general population, to 3.4, indicating more than threefold higher mortality in PD. The time trend of estimates is inconsistent, although there appears to be a decrease in the 1970s, corresponding to the introduction of levodopa trials during that time period .). A geographical trend is not apparent, as the SMRs within each geographical region are as variable as between regions .
Table 1Summary of studies that have reported a standardised mortality ratio, comparing Parkinson’s disease patients with a general population
Figure 1Standardised mortality ratios for Parkinson’s disease from 39 studies by publication date.
What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Most patients with Parkinson’s disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable – reducing symptoms during “on” periods and no longer controlling symptoms during “off” periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they can’t. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.
What Is The Outlook For Persons With Parkinsons Disease
Although there is no cure or absolute evidence of ways to prevent Parkinson’s 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 team’s 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 Parkinson’s 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.
New Clues On Why Some People With Parkinsons Die Sooner
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as epilepsy, dystonia, migraine, Huntington’s disease, and dementia.For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com.
Parkinsons Disease Late Stages: What Will Happen To Me
With advanced Parkinson’s disease, stage 5 life expectancy can be months or years depending on how your condition presents. You are likely to need round-the-clock care at this stage, and you may not be able to move around independently. Patients with late-stage Parkinson’s disease are more susceptible to pneumonia, sepsis, pyelonephritis and decubitus ulcers. Late-stage Parkinson’s also leads to Parkinson’s disease dementia in 50% of cases. For all of these reasons, many late-stage Parkinson’s patients are cared for by loved ones or in a hospice.
Whats The Life Expectancy For A Senior With Parkinsons
Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder that negatively affects mobility, dexterity, and cognitive health. There currently isn’t a cure for Parkinson’s, but doctors have come up with a wide variety of treatments that can minimize or delay some of the most prominent symptoms. Here’s a closer look at the average life expectancy of a person with Parkinson’s and a few steps that can be taken to increase longevity after being diagnosed with this disorder.
Stage One: Symptoms Affect Only One Side Of Your Body
The initial phase of Parkinson’s 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.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Parkinsons Disease
Medications are the main treatment method for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan best suited for you based on the severity of your disease at the time of diagnosis, side effects of the drug class and success or failure of symptom control of the medications you try.
Medications combat Parkinson’s disease by:
- Helping nerve cells in the brain make dopamine.
- Mimicking the effects of dopamine in the brain.
- Blocking an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain.
- Reducing some specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Levodopa: Levodopa is a main treatment for the slowness of movement, tremor, and stiffness symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine, which replenishes the low amount found in the brain of persons with Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa is usually taken with carbidopa to allow more levodopa to reach the brain and to prevent or reduce the nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure and other side effects of levodopa. Sinemet® is available in an immediate release formula and a long-acting, controlled release formula. Rytary® is a newer version of levodopa/carbidopa that is a longer-acting capsule. The newest addition is Inbrija®, which is inhaled levodopa. It is used by people already taking regular carbidopa/levodopa for when they have off episodes .
Learning How To Manage Daily Living With Parkinsons
Once you are diagnosed with PD, your focus should be on improving your symptoms and maintaining an active and positive lifestyle.
Although there is currently no cure for PD, it is possible to successfully manage symptoms through healthy choices, medications, and, in select cases, medical procedures.
If you’re new to Parkinson’s disease and would like a good overview to help you better understand the disease, please view our Parkinson’s Disease: The Essentials presentation. It’s a great place to get started with reliable and concise information.
- Finding local resources and support groups.
- Find upcoming classes and webinars on our Virtual Events Calendar
What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
Each person with Parkinson’s disease experiences symptoms in in their own unique way. Not everyone experiences all symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. You may not experience symptoms in the same order as others. Some people may have mild symptoms; others may have intense symptoms. How quickly symptoms worsen also varies from individual to individual and is difficult to impossible to predict at the outset.
In general, the disease progresses from early stage to mid-stage to mid-late-stage to advanced stage. This is what typically occurs during each of these stages:
Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are usually mild and typically occur slowly and do not interfere with daily activities. Sometimes early symptoms are not easy to detect or you may think early symptoms are simply normal signs of aging. You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing.
Often, a family member or friend notices some of the subtle signs before you do. They may notice things like body stiffness or lack of normal movement slow or small handwriting, lack of expression in your face, or difficulty getting out of a chair.
Standing and walking are becoming more difficult and may require assistance with a walker. You may need full time help to continue to live at home.
A Day In The Life Of A Parkinsons Disease Sufferer
A Typical Morning
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is largely thought of as a condition of affecting motor control. James Beck, PhD, vice president of scientific affairs for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation , says that while every case is different, the four cardinal signs of the disease are tremor, muscle rigidity, bradykinesia or akinesia , and problems with walking and balance. These symptoms occur as cells in a part of the brain known as the substantia nigra begin to die off, for reasons that remain unknown. These cells produce an important chemical neurotransmitter known as dopamine. Without dopamine, the brain is unable to control muscle movement. But dopamine is so much more than that. You may have heard it referred to as the “happiness” neurotransmitter, so it’s no surprise that two of the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are depression and apathy. Add to that pain from rigid muscles, blood pressure instability, drooling, sweating, constipation, impaired cognition, and absolutely crushing fatigue, and you’ve got yourself a disease that affects just about every facet of life. “A person with mid-stage Parkinson’s disease walking around may look like they are drunk,” says Dr. Beck. “They commonly have slurred speech, and swallowing is another problem, which can contribute to drooling. This constellation of motor effects looks like drunkenness, but their minds are clear.”
Treatment for Parkinson’s
How Long Can A Person Live With Stage 5 Parkinson
When patients reach stage five – the final stage of Parkinson’s disease – they will have severe posture issues in their back, neck, and hips. In end–stage of Parkinson’s disease, patients will also often experience non-motor symptoms. These can include incontinence, insomnia, and dementia.
Additionally, what do Parkinson’s patients usually die from? But the most common cause of death in those with Parkinson’s is pneumonia, because the disease impairs patients‘ ability to swallow, putting them at risk for inhaling or aspirating food or liquids into their lungs, leading to aspiration pneumonia.
Also asked, what happens in stage 5 Parkinson’s?
Stage Five of Parkinson’s Disease –Stage five is the most advanced and is characterized by an inability to arise from a chair or get out of bed without help. They may have a tendency to fall when standing or turning, and they may freeze or stumble when walking.
How quickly can Parkinson’s progress?
While symptoms and disease progression are unique to each person, knowing the typical stages of Parkinson’s can help you cope with changes as they occur. Some people experience the changes over 20 years or more. Others find the disease progresses more quickly.
Caring For Your Health With Parkinson’s Disease
In addition to caring for your Parkinson’s health, it is also important to care for your overall health. This means visiting your primary care physician periodically for preventive care like the annual flu shot and cancer screenings—for example, a mammogram for breast cancer screening and a colonoscopy for colon cancer screening.
A primary care physician can also evaluate for risk factors related to heart attacks and strokes, and provide counseling on exercise, smoking, alcohol use, depression, or other mental health concerns. Regular visits to your primary care physician or neurologist will also allow them to catch bacterial infections like urinary tract infections before they get serious.
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. It’s 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.