Is The Dementia Caused By Parkinsons Or Something Else
Indications that dementia may be caused by something other than Parkinsons disease include agitation, delusions , and language difficulties. If the onset of cognitive symptoms is sudden, theyre more likely due to something other than Parkinsons diseaseeven reversible causes such as infection, a vitamin B12 deficiency, or an underactive thyroid gland.
Depression can mimic dementia by causing similar symptoms such as apathy, memory problems, and concentration difficulties. Since depression is very common in Parkinsons patients, its important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in older adults.
Parkinsons disease dementia vs. other dementias
Other types of dementia that can be commonly mistaken for Parkinsons disease dementia include:
Lewy Body Dementia is characterized by fluctuations in alertness and attention, recurrent visual hallucinations, and Parkinsonian motor symptoms like rigidity and the loss of spontaneous movement. In this disorder, cognitive problems such as hallucinations tend to occur much earlier in the course of the disease and often precede difficulties with walking and motor control.
Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease are both common in the elderly, especially in those over 85. Patients with Parkinsons who develop dementia may even develop Alzheimers dementia as well. Therefore, its important to be aware of the signs of Alzheimers Disease and how its treated.
Incidence And Prevalence: Als Compared With Parkinsons
All neurodegenerative diseases are conditions where there is an impact on the brain and/or the central nervous system.
According to statistics, ALS currently affects around 30,000 people in the USA, with around 6,000 new cases being identified each year.
Parkinsons Disease affects around a million people in America and there are about 60,000 new cases annually.
Famous individuals affected by Parkinsons include Michael J Fox and Scottish comedian Billy Connelly. In terms of ALS, the late Professor Stephen Hawking was one prominent public figure who had been diagnosed with a form of ALS. The late legendary US baseball player Lou Gehrig was also diagnosed with ALS and subsequently the condition has been commonly referred to as Lou Gehrigs disease ever since.
Parkinsons is perhaps a much more well known condition, due to its increased prevalence throughout the world, however ALS has received a lot more attention and awareness since the Ice Bucket Challenge which went viral on social media during the summer of 2014.
Difference Between Parkinsons Disease And Als Signs And Symptoms
Parkinsons disease typically begins with tremors, followed by muscle stiffness, difficulty standing or walking, changes in speech, slow movements, impaired posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and writing changes.
Signs and symptoms of ALS include slurred speech, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, emotional liability , loss of tongue muscle contour, excess saliva, difficulty breathing, limp muscles or flaccid weakness, muscle wasting, and twitching.
In the early stages of the disease, ALS patients may notice that performing regular everyday tasks has become more challenging. For example, they may experience difficulty climbing steps or getting up from a chair. Symptoms may first begin on one side of the body, but as the condition progresses, they spread to both sides.
As you can see, ALS and Parkinsons disease share symptoms associated with the negative impact of both conditions on movement and muscle function.
Don’t Miss: Dementia And Parkinsons Disease
Similarities Between Als And Parkinsons Disease
There are several similarities between these two diseases. Both affect neurons in the body and have a detrimental impact on the motor system, that is, how we move, speak, eat and breathe.
Individuals with ALS can often show Parkinson like symptoms, such as tremors, rigidity and slow movement. Beyond this, however, the ALS vs Parkinsons disease differences tend to be much starker than the similarities.
Comparing Parkinsons Disease And Als Causes
When certain nerve cells in the brain begin to die or break down that is what causes Parkinsons disease, but why this occurs is unclear. Some factors that contribute to nerve cell death include genetics as specific gene mutations have been identified to contribute to Parkinsons disease, environmental factors such as exposure to certain toxins, the presence of Lewy bodies in the brain, as well as alpha-synuclein found in Lewy bodies.
There are many unanswered questions about ALS, including the root cause. What we do know is that nerve cells that control the movement of muscles gradually die in ALS patients.
Researchers around the world continue to investigate the possible causes of ALS, including whether the immune system plays a role in attacking the body cells, potentially killing nerve cells. Scientists are examining chemical imbalance and trying to determine if proteins in people with ALS are being incorrectly processed by nerve cells.
Environmental factors are also being put under the scrutiny. One study has stated that members of the military personnel in the Gulf region during the 1991 war were more likely to develop Lou Gehrigs disease than military personnel stationed anywhere else. The question is, could mechanical or electrical trauma, exposure to high levels of exercise, exposure to high levels of agricultural chemicals, or heavy metals play a role?
You May Like: Parkinsons Weakness
Treatment Of Prion Disorders
The problem with prion disorders is a similar problem to cancer. A pathological process has been switched on which then has a momentum of its own. Stopping the smoker from smoking does not cure his lung cancer! However one should be able to slow down the progression of the disease hopefully to an extent where healing and repair exceeds damage. There has to be a reason why Stephen Hawking has survived motor neurone disease for 30 years when for most the prognosis is much worse!
1. Identify the initiator identify toxic exposures and detox. See Chemical poisons and toxins. Deal with these specifically see Detoxification an overview and Detoxing Far Infrared Sauna . Heavy metals are commonly implicated and the best test for these is to measure urinary toxic metals following DMSA challange . ]
3. Because there is an element of autoimmunity in prion disorders, tackle Autoimmune diseases the environmental approach to treating
4. Anything to reduce inflammation is likely to be helpful See especially high dose vitamin D. Tests of antioxidant status are important ]
Onset Of Als And Parkinsons
There are several different variants of ALS but it generally affects people between the age of 40 and 70. Juvenile onset ALS, however, can start in childhood or typically before the age of 25, although this form of ALS is particularly rare. The onset of ALS is estimated to be 20% more common in men compared with women and in 10% of cases there is likely to be a genetic component.
Parkinsons disease is usually diagnosed in people over the age of 60, though a small percentage exhibit the symptoms before the age of 50.
Once again, men are more likely to develop Parkinsons than women.
Recommended Reading: What Part Of The Body Does Parkinson’s Affect
Who Gets Motor Neurone Disease And Why
Motor neurone disease is an uncommon condition that mainly affects people in their 60s and 70s, but it can affect adults of all ages.
It’s caused by a problem with cells in the brain and nerves called motor neurones.
These cells gradually stop working over time. It’s not known why this happens.
Having a close relative with motor neurone disease, or a related condition called frontotemporal dementia, can sometimes mean you’re more likely to get it.
But it does not run in families in most cases.
Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s And Motor Neurone Disease
Read Also: Does Parkinson’s Cause Urinary Incontinence
Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin D And Omega
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of Parkinsons disease, whereas vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure are associated with a reduced risk. How does vitamin D combat neurodegeneration in Parkinsons disease? A high density of vitamin D receptors reside in the part of the brain most affected by Parkinsons disease; this finding suggests that vitamin D regulates the function of neurons.
Vitamin D also lessens the severity of autoimmunity and regulates neurotrophins, proteins that induce the survival, development, and function of neurons. Vitamin D is one nutrient you wont want to skimp on if your goal is to prevent Parkinsons disease!Safe sun exposure is the best method for boosting vitamin D levels. However, full-body sun exposure is not possible for most people year-round; in this case, I recommend you take cod liver oil and eat fatty cold-water fish, beef liver, and egg yolks to obtain dietary vitamin D.
Omega-3 fatty acids, like EPA and DHA, are critical for normal brain development and function across the lifespan. Low levels of EPA and DHA increase the risk of neurodegeneration, whereas omega-3 supplementation can help reduce neuron death in the brain, alleviate neuroinflammation, boost antioxidant enzymes, and relieve motor symptoms in PD. EPA and DHA are abundant in seafood, so I recommend consuming two to three servings of seafood per week to achieve a healthy intake of these neuroprotective fatty acids.
What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of PD vary from person to person, as does the rate of progression. A person who has Parkinson’s may experience some of these more common “hallmark” symptoms:
- Bradykinesia – slowness of movement, impaired dexterity, decreased blinking, drooling, expressionless face.
- Tremor at rest – involuntary shaking that decreases with purposeful movement. Typically starts on one side of the body, usually the hand.
- Rigidity – stiffness caused by involuntary increase in muscle tone.
- Postural instability – sense of imbalance. Patients often compensate by lowering their center of gravity, which results in a stooped posture.
Other symptoms that may or may not occur:
Freezing or being stuck in place Shuffling gait or dragging of one foot Stooped posture Cognitive impairment
Who Is At Risk
MNDs occur in both adults and children. In children, MNDs are typically due to specific gene mutations, as in spinal muscular atrophy. Symptoms can be present at birth or appear in early childhood. In adults, MNDs are more likely to be sporadic, meaning the disease occurs with no family history. Symptoms typically appear after age 50, though onset of disease may occur at any age.
Treatment Of Als Vs Parkinsons Disease
There is currently no cure for ALS and much of the treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms and trying to slow down the progression of the disease. Ultimately the disease will be fatal and once bodily functions such as swallowing and breathing are affected, the prognosis is very poor.
Typically, around half of those diagnosed with ALS will die within the first three years following their diagnosis. Only 10% of those diagnosed will live beyond 10 years.
Treatment of Parkinsons disease has received a lot more attention with its higher profile in the media. As with ALS, there is currently no cure but there are a wide range of different medications and treatments that are available.
This includes brain stimulation therapy which sends an electrical stimulus to the brain from a device embedded by the collarbone to help alleviate symptoms such as tremors.
You May Like: Is Golf Good For Parkinson’s
What Can Mimic Als
There are a number of diseases which can initially be mistaken for ALS, with multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons among the most well-known. Symptoms exhibited by Patients will vary, especially in the early stages of a disease that affects the nerves and this often leads to misdiagnosis for conditions that have similar presentations.
Here we take a look at the diseases which are commonly mistaken for ALS and how they compare, particularly in the initial stages.
Q: How Does The Delta Variant Affect Someone With Pd
A: We do not have any specific data yet on how the Delta variant affects people with PD.
The COVID-19 virus, like all viruses, is able to mutate and create variants of itself. Many variants of COVID-19 have been identified around the world. Only a few of these variants have been of concern to public health however, because they have a characteristic that makes the virus either more easily transmissible or more likely to cause significant disease. The Delta variant is currently the variant of concern and has been shown to be more easily transmitted from person to person than prior variants of COVID.
The vaccines approved in the US do offer protection against the Delta variant, but not to the extent that was seen in the original trials. That means that fully vaccinated people are more likely to get infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19 than other variants. However, the major goal of the vaccines is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 and all the approved vaccines are approximately 90% effective in preventing these consequences of infection.; Therefore, vaccination remains extremely valuable.
You May Like: What Does Parkinsons Disease Look Like
Don’t Miss: Is There A Test For Parkinson’s
The 5 Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
Getting older is underrated by most. Its a joyful experience to sit back, relax and watch the people in your life grow up, have kids of their own and flourish. Age can be a beautiful thing, even as our bodies begin to slow down. We spoke with David Shprecher, DO, movement disorders director at Banner Sun Health Research Institute;about a well-known illness which afflicts as many as 2% of people older than 65, Parkinsons Disease.
Gout Before Ms Pd Or Mnd
The methods of analysis were the same for all neurological diseases; we describe the methods for gout followed by MS as the example. A cohort of people with gout was constructed for people with a diagnosis of gout in an episode of hospital care by identifying the first episode of day case care, or admission, for gout during the study period. A reference cohort was constructed by identifying the first admission for each individual with various other mainly minor medical and surgical conditions as described in previous studies of disease associations . Standard epidemiological practice was followed by selecting a diverse range of conditions rather than relying on a limited range . As a check, we estimated the risk of each neurological disease in the reference cohort to ensure that it does not include conditions that have atypically high or low rates of neurological disease.
People were included in the gout or reference cohort if they did not have an admission for MS either before or at the same time as the admission for gout or the reference condition. The database was then investigated for any subsequent NHS hospital care for, or death from, MS in these cohorts . We considered that rates of MS in the reference cohort would approximate those in the general population while allowing for migration .
Advanced Stage Signs And Symptoms
Eventually, a person in the advanced stage of ALS will need help to move, eat, or breathe, and the condition can become life-threatening.
Breathing problems are the most common cause of death.
Motor neurons instruct the muscles to move by sending signals from the brain. They play a role in both conscious and automatic movements, such as swallowing and breathing.
Experts believe that around 10% of MNDs are hereditary. The other 90% happen randomly.
The exact causes are unclear, but the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke note that genetic, toxic, viral, and other environmental factors may play a role.
Parkinsons Disease Vs Als: Us Prevalence
One million Americans live with Parkinsons disease. The average cost of Parkinsons disease including treatment, lost work wages, and social security payments is $25 billion annually in the U.S.
It is not clear how many people are affected by ALS, but the estimates range between 12,000 and 15,000. Doctors tell roughly 5,000 patients annually that they have ALS. Records on ALS have not been well kept across the country, so estimates may fall way below the actual rates. Common age of ALS diagnosis is between 55 and 75, and life expectancy is anywhere between two and five years after the onset of symptoms. Longevity in ALS is strongly linked to a persons age. Younger individuals with ALS tend to live longer than those diagnosed at an older age.
Read Also: What Causes Hand Tremors Besides Parkinson’s
Mechanisms Behind Sensory Deficits In Parkinson’s Disease
- Karolinska Institutet
- Although Parkinsons disease is often associated with motor symptoms such as stiffness, poor balance and trembling, the first symptoms are often sensory and include a reduced sense of touch and smell. In a study on mice, researchers have now been able to identify neural circuits and mechanisms behind this loss of sensory perception. The study may open avenues to methods of earlier diagnosis.
Although Parkinson’s disease is often associated with motor symptoms such as stiffness, poor balance and trembling, the first symptoms are often sensory and include a reduced sense of touch and smell. In a study on mice, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now been able to identify neural circuits and mechanisms behind this loss of sensory perception. The study, which is published in the scientific journal Neuron, may open avenues to methods of earlier diagnosis.
There are some 18,000 people with Parkinson’s disease in Sweden, and around 2,000 new diagnoses every year. The disease, which is one of our most common neurological conditions, is currently incurable, although its symptoms can be alleviated.
When we think of Parkinson’s disease, we often focus on its motor symptoms, such as stiffness and trembling, which are caused by a gradual decrease in the dopamine supply to a brain area called the striatum, the primary input nucleus of the basal ganglia.
It is hoped that the discovery will open the way for methods of earlier diagnosis.