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Saturday, July 20, 2024
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I Think I Have Parkinson’s

What Are The Risk Factors For Parkinsons Disease

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Risk factors for Parkinsons disease include:

Genetics

People with a first-degree relative with Parkinsons are at an increased risk for the disease possibly as much as 9 percent greater.

Fifteen percent of people with Parkinsons have a known relative with the disease, but a condition called familial Parkinsons, which has a known genetic link, is relatively rare.

The average age of onset is 60 years, and the incidence rises with advancing age. About 4 percent of people have early-onset or young-onset disease, which begins before age 50.

Gender

Parkinsons affects about 50 percent more men than women, for unknown reasons.

Pesticide Exposure

Exposure to some pesticides has been shown to raise the risk of developing Parkinsons.

Problematic chemicals include organochlorine pesticides like DDT, dieldrin, and chlordane. Rotenone and permethrin have also been implicated.

Fungicide and Herbicide Exposure

Exposure to the fungicide maneb or the herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid , paraquat, or Agent Orange may raise the risk of Parkinsons.

The U.S. Veterans Health Administration considers Parkinsons to be a possible service-related illness if the person was exposed to significant amounts of Agent Orange.

Head Injuries

Head injuries may contribute to the development of Parkinsons in some people.

Coffee and Smoking

People who drink coffee or smoke tobacco have been found to have a lower risk of Parkinsons disease, for reasons that remain unclear.

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 Are Lewy Bodies

Lewy bodies are abnormal protein deposits found in the brain. Researchers do not know exactly why Lewy bodies form or what role they may play in Parkinson’s disease, but they seem to be linked to certain types of dementia associated with both PD and Alzheimer’s disease. Lewy body dementia is a degenerative disease and symptoms range from parkinsonian symptoms such as bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor, and shuffling walk, to symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease . Symptoms may fluctuate, even from day to day. In later stages patients may develop hallucinations.

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How Does Parkinsons Disease Progress

When drug treatment intensifies to improve symptom control, the risk of drug side effects, in particular dyskinesia, rises. Dyskinesia is involuntary, uncontrolled movement that can look like fidgeting, writhing, head bobbing, or body swaying.

People who respond less well to drug treatment also tend to develop additional Parkinsons symptoms, often including various nonmotor symptoms.

As symptoms advance, people with Parkinsons increasingly need assistance carrying out activities of daily living.

Will I Die From This Disease

I have Parkinson

No! Parkinsons is not a fatal disease. But it does affect your quality of life, and it gets worse over time. As James Beck, vice president for scientific affairs at the Parkinsons Foundation, explains, People who are healthy when diagnosed will generally live about as long as other people in their age cohort. It is not a death sentence. Some of the complications of PD can be serious, however. The CDC rates complications from PD as the 14th leading cause of death in the U.S. Most of the Parkinsons-related deaths occur because of pneumonia, which is more of a risk as people lose their ability to swallow and can inhale food.8 Its important to start treatment early and to get support to keep living a healthy, active lifestyle as long as possible.

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Every Day I Hear People Talking About The Latest And Greatest Diet That Is Good For Parkinsons Its Hard To Keep Track Of All The Conflicting Information Who Should I See

When it comes to nutritional plans, what works for you may not work for someone else. And for every article on why diet X is the best, there is another one that claims Y is the best. To find the best nutritional strategy for you, see a registered dietician who specializes in working with people with Parkinsons or other neurological disorders.

RDs are usually the most qualified health professional out there on the topics of nutrition and dietetics unless your primary care doctor, neurologist, or movement disorder specialist specializes in that field. If you dont have access to an RD in your area, you can check out some of our resources on nutrition.

Other issues an RD can help you with:

  • Nutritional treatments for Diabetes or high/low blood pressure
  • Digestive issues, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain if the problem is serious and chronic)
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Nutrition for exercise performance

What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Parkinsons Disease

The severity of Parkinsons disease symptoms and signs vary greatly from person to peson, and it is not possible to predict how quickly the disease will progress. Parkinsons 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.

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Black Americans And Parkinsons Disease

Some research suggests that Parkinsons disease is more likely to affect white and Hispanic people than African Americans. But other studies have indicated that the prevalence of Parkinsons among African Americans is similar to that of white people.

African Americans remain underrepresented in Parkinsons-related research studies, which may contribute to the discrepancies in these estimates.

Black patients may also be less likely to receive proper care for the disease, research shows. 00146-2/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 23, 24)

A study published in April 2021 in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders showed that Black people with Parkinsons were, on average, four years older at the time they received their diagnosis than white people with this condition.

The study also revealed racial disparities when it comes to diagnosis, treatment, survival, and medication use that negatively impact Black people compared with white people who have Parkinsons.

For example, Black people were more likely to receive care for Parkinsons through the emergency department than white people, and were less likely to be taking medications for parkinsonism and mood disorders than white people.

These disparities likely result from factors such as health insurance status and access to medical care, among others, according to a study published in August 2021 in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology.

How Does This Condition Affect My Body

Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Balance

Parkinsons disease causes a specific area of your brain, the basal ganglia, to deteriorate. As this area deteriorates, you lose the abilities those areas once controlled. Researchers have uncovered that Parkinsons disease causes a major shift in your brain chemistry.

Under normal circumstances, your brain uses chemicals known as neurotransmitters to control how your brain cells communicate with each other. When you have Parkinsons disease, you dont have enough dopamine, one of the most important neurotransmitters.

When your brain sends activation signals that tell your muscles to move, it fine-tunes your movements using cells that require dopamine. Thats why lack of dopamine causes the slowed movements and tremors symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

As Parkinson’s disease progresses, the symptoms expand and intensify. Later stages of the disease often affect how your brain functions, causing dementia-like symptoms and depression.

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Prevention Of Parkinsons Disease

Researchers dont know of any proven ways to prevent Parkinsons disease, but avoiding certain risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle may reduce your risk.

Some studies have shown a diet high in antioxidants along with regular exercise may play a role in preventing Parkinsons. Other findings have suggested that compounds like caffeine, niacin, and nicotine may have a protective effect against Parkinsons disease.

Researchers have studied various formulations of nicotine including intranasal, transdermal, and chewing gum to see whether they could help with Parkinsons symptoms, but so far none has been found effective at slowing the progression of Parkinsons.

Recently Fred Has Found His Eyes Are Closed Involuntarily Most Of The Time Though If He Makes An

You dont think, Oh, it would be nice to have my eyes closed now?

The mask that is the expressionless face, typical of many people with Parkinsons, probably distresses the people who have to live with it more than it embarrasses the person who has it. It tends to be the position the face falls into when not actively doing something else. Lack of facial expression can be hard for the family.

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How Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia Diagnosed

No single test can diagnose Parkinsons disease dementia. Instead, doctors rely on a series or combination of tests and indicators.

Your neurologist will likely diagnose you with Parkinsons and then track your progression. They may monitor you for signs of dementia. As you get older, your risk for Parkinsons dementia increases.

Your doctor is more likely to conduct regular testing to monitor your cognitive functions, memory recall, and mental health.

Are There Clinical Trials I Can Take Part In

Typical Age For Parkinson

Yes! The U.S. government National Institutes of Health maintains an ongoing database of all the clinical trials taking place around the country, at ClinicalTrials.gov. You can search by disease, trial status, age group, and location.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers an online clinical trial matching tool that helps PD patients connect with studies that need participants.

Centerwatch is an information service for patients and providers that helps match participants with clinical studies.

The Parkinsons Study Group is the largest non-profit cooperative of accredited Parkinsons centers in North America. The organization plans, prioritizes, and conducts clinical trials around the country as well as maintaining a searchable list of past and current trials on its website.

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Elimination Of Other Conditions

Although no test can diagnose Parkinson’s disease itself, your doctor may order blood tests or imaging studies to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.

Your doctor will want to know about any medications or recreational drugs you take, since some drugs can cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s disease doesn’t show up on radiological studies like X-ray, MRI , or CT scans.

Parkinson’s Disease And Movement Disorders Center

Our center provides compassionate and timely treatment to patients with movement disorders, such as dystonia, ataxia, essential tremor and similar conditions. But our mission goes beyond patient care excellence. By offering educational events and support groups, we empower patients and caregivers to become better partners in their health.

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Join The Parkinsons Forums: An Online Community For People With Parkinsons Disease And Their Caregivers

Does your loved one seem to be dragging one of their feet when they walk? Are they shuffling slightly? Has one of their arms lost its swing when they walk? Do they seem stiff in their movements? You have an objective perspective and may notice these things sooner.

No one who is happy or joyful likes to be asked, Whats wrong with you? That can happen with an early sign of PD known as the masked face. Why masked face? Because the facial muscles have tightened and people with PD have a harder time smiling or showing emotion.

Another symptom that I struggle with is my voice getting softer, making it hard for others to hear me. I had a soft voice to begin with, and when it got softer it made it more difficult to converse. Speech and vocal exercises can be done to strengthen the vocal cords if the problem is due to PD.

If you think someone you know might have early signs of PD, you might want to approach them as if they hadnt noticed their symptoms. For example, dont stare at them when they are shaking and ask, Do I make you nervous? Ask them if theyve noticed that their hand shakes slightly. If they bring it to your attention, encourage them to have it checked out. If they are concerned and you act like its nothing, especially when you notice it, coupled with other signs related to early PD, they will feel silly and may think they are imagining things.

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What Are The Primary Motor Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

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There are four primary motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease: tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability . Observing two or more of these symptoms is the main way that physicians diagnose Parkinsons.

It is important to know that not all of these symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease to be considered. In fact, younger people may only notice one or two of these motor symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease. Not everyone with Parkinsons disease has a tremor, nor is a tremor proof of Parkinsons. If you suspect Parkinsons, see a neurologist or movement disorders specialist.

Tremors

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Early Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects movement. Approximately 1 million people in the U.S. are living with the disease. This year, about 60,000 more will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Many people associate Parkinson’s disease with tremors or shaking of their hands. While this is a common symptom, other important symptoms include stiffness of muscles and slowing of movement.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually start on one side of the body. They usually remain worse on that side even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.

The early signs and symptoms are different for each person. The symptoms may be mild enough to go unnoticed for months or years.

Here are early symptoms that can raise concern for Parkinson’s disease:

  • Smaller handwriting
  • Family members may observe that one arm swings less on one side when walking.
  • Soft or low voice Again, it is family members or friends who may ask one to speak louder. The speech may be more of a monotone without the usual inflections.

It is the combination of several symptoms that would raise suspicion for Parkinson’s disease. A single symptom is not enough to make a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

It is important to talk with your health care provider if you have any of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. This is to properly diagnose the condition and rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.

Leonardo Fugoso, M.D., is a neurologist in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Surgery And Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation is a treatment for Parkinsonâs disease that uses an implantable pacemaker-like device to deliver electrical pulses to parts of the brain involved in movement. The DBS system consists of leads precisely inserted into a specific brain target, the neurostimulator implanted in the chest, and extension wires that connect the leads to the neurostimulator. Though implantation of the system requires a neurosurgical procedure, the treatment itself consists of long-term electrical stimulation. Advantages of DBS include its ability to reduce the high doses of medications , its adjustability , and its reversibility DBS was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for PD in 2002 and according to Medtronic , more than 80,000 patients have undergone DBS surgery worldwide.

Typical candidates are those who have motor fluctuations or periods of âoffâ time with troublesome symptoms alternating with periods of âonâ time with good symptom control, and also with possible periods of excessive movement .

Not all patients with Parkinsonâs disease are good candidates for treatment with DBS. Approximately 10â20% of patients considered for possible treatment with DBS include those:

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Im Having More Trouble Reading These Days Is This Parkinsons Or Just My Eyes Aging Who Should I See

Your issues may be related to the aging of the eye, but there are several issues related to vision that are unique to people with Parkinsons. So, if you go to your general ophthalmologist, but the problem isnt solved with new lenses, ask for a referral to a neuro-ophthalmologist. Neuro-ophthalmologists are ophthalmologists or neurologists who have received specialized training so they can diagnose and treat vision issues that are the result of neurological diseases.

Vision issues a neuro-ophthalmologist can help you with:

  • Eye movement issues that impact reading, depth perception, ability to focus, etc.
  • Blinking abnormalities

Heres a webinar on vision problems and Parkinsons put on by The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Is Early Diagnosis Possible

Symptoms

Experts are becoming more aware of symptoms of Parkinsons that precede physical manifestations. Clues to the disease that sometimes show up before motor symptoms and before a formal diagnosis are called prodromal symptoms. These include the loss of sense of smell, a sleep disturbance called REM behavior disorder, ongoing constipation thats not otherwise explained and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Research into these and other early symptoms holds promise for even more sensitive testing and diagnosis.

For example, biomarker research is trying to answer the question of who gets Parkinsons disease. Researchers hope that once doctors can predict that a person with very early symptoms will eventually get Parkinsons disease, those patients can be appropriately treated. At the very least, these advances could greatly delay progression.

Parkinsons Disease and Movement Disorders Center

Our center provides compassionate and timely treatment to patients with movement disorders, such as dystonia, ataxia, essential tremor and similar conditions. But our mission goes beyond patient care excellence. By offering educational events and support groups, we empower patients and caregivers to become better partners in their health.

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