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Parkinson’s Disease Fun Facts

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Jillian Lavadan Ba Hons Cda Member Of Cdaac

Recognizing Early Signs of Parkinsons Disease – AARP Arizona

Jillian is a Communicative Disorders Assistant who completed her post graduate certificate at Georgian College. She completed her un-dergraduate degree in sociology at Nipissing University, where she specialized in qualitative research. She has been working in the speech and language field for 8 years. Jillian has a wide range of experience working with children with articulation and language delays, fluency and stuttering, literacy, ASD and global delays. She has worked with chil-dren who are non verbal and require low-tech or high-tech devices to aide in communication.

Jillian also works extensively with adults in the areas of accent re-duction, voice therapy, cognitive communication, acquired brain injury, augmentative and alternative communication, and ASD. Jillian continu-ously participates in professional development to stay up to date in best practices and new research. She takes the time to individualize treat-ment for her clients to make it both engaging and functional. She works alongside family members, community members and other support networks to support clients as best as possible.

Jillian provides speech therapy in Mississauga and Brampton are-as.

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What Are The Primary Motor Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

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.


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Myths And Facts About Parkinsons Disease

For those living with Parkinsons, separating the myths from the facts can be a big challenge. So, from causes to treatment to quality of life, weve answered some of your common questions.

Zenya Smith

Content Manager

Every hour, at least two people are diagnosed with Parkinsons in the UK however theres still a lot that people dont know about the disease. Weve separated the fact from the fiction.

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Treatment And Medication Options For Parkinsons Disease

For decades, doctors couldnt treat Parkinsons disease effectively and thought it was a terminal illness. In the late 19th century, arsenic, morphine, hemlock, and cannabis were used to treat tremors.

The biggest advance in Parkinsons treatment came in the 1960s. Researchers identified differences in the brains of people with Parkinsons associated with low levels of the chemical dopamine, which plays a role in coordinated movement.

Theres no cure for Parkinsons, but a number of treatments can help manage the diseases symptoms.

What Are The Mortality Rates For Parkinsons Disease

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Parkinsons disease is not fatal, but it is often a handicap in advanced stages. Some people have a higher risk of death associated with Parkinsons disease, but this is not the case for everyone. Many people who have the condition have a normal life expectancy.

People with advanced Parkinsons disease may develop a type of cognitive impairment known as Parkinsons dementia. Additionally, people who have Parkinsons disease can develop other types of dementia, including Alzheimers disease. Cognitive impairment is a risk factor for death in Parkinsons disease.

People who have an age of onset before age 40 have a more than fivefold higher risk of death compared to people of the same age in the general population.

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Do You Know The Early Signs Of Parkinsons

The onset of Parkinsons usually happens over the age of 60, however cases have been reported between the ages of 30 and 40 too.

While changing motor skills and tremors are widely recognised as early warning signs, there are a range of lesser known symptoms that my indicate Parkinsons too. These can include:

  • Losing your sense of smell
  • Speaking in a soft voice than usual
  • Changes in your handwriting, i.e taking longer to write things down, or writing thats smaller than usual and bunched together
  • Problems getting a good nights sleep
  • Unexplained dizzy spells

You may experience these symptoms for a variety of reasons they wont always be caused by Parkinsons disease. Your GP will be able to offer the right support if youre worried about any of the above.

Getting Medications On Time Is Crucial

A person with Parkinsons may move much better at certain times of the day. This is due to a person’s medication levels and can be tracked as “on” or “off.” When an person is “off” they will experience worsening symptoms, including an increase in tremors, stiffness, and cognitive impairments. This makes medication adherence all the more important.

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Exercise Can Help Delay The Progression Of The Disease

Studies show that high intensity exercisesuch as running on a treadmill for 30 minutes three times a weekcan considerably delay the progression of Parkinsons, which can have an enormous impact over time.

For patients with early Parkinsons disease, we often prescribe exercise, usually in combination with a medication called rasagiline that in clinical trials has been shown to delay the progression of early disease.

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Myth : Parkinsons Disease Is Fatal

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Fact: Although a diagnosis of Parkinsons is devastating, it is not as some people may still believe a death sentence. Parkinsons disease is not a direct killer, like stroke or heart attack. That said, much depends on the quality of your care, both from your medical team and yourself.

As the disease progresses, you may become more vulnerable to falls, which can be dangerous. Thats why exercise and physical therapy are so important.

Infection is another problem. In later stages of Parkinsons, people often miss those signals and may not notice somethings up until its too late. That can be, literally, a killer so be sure to stay up to date with checkups.

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How Is Parkinsons Diagnosed

Doctors use your medical history and physical examination to diagnose Parkinsons disease . No blood test, brain scan or other test can be used to make a definitive diagnosis of PD.

Researchers believe that in most people, Parkinsons is caused by a combination ofenvironmental and geneticfactors. Certain environmental exposures, such as pesticides and head injury, are associated with an increased risk of PD. Still, most people have no clear exposure that doctors can point to as a straightforward cause. The same goes for genetics. Certain genetic mutations are linked to an increased risk of PD. But in the vast majority of people, Parkinsons is not directly related to a single genetic mutation. Learning more about the genetics of Parkinsons is one of our best chances to understand more about the disease and discover how to slow or stop its progression.

Aging is the greatest risk factor for Parkinsons, and the average age at diagnosis is 60. Still, some people get PD at 40 or younger.

Men are diagnosed with Parkinsons at a higher rate than women and whites more than other races. Researchers are studying these disparities to understand more about the disease and health care access and to improve inclusivity across care and research.

Aging is the greatest risk factor for Parkinsons, and the average age at diagnosis is 60. Still, some people get PD at 40 or younger.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has made finding a test for Parkinsons disease one of our top priorities.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons disease is a chronic and progressive disease of the nervous system which causes gradual loss of muscle control. Parkinsons disease was discovered by British surgeon Dr. James Parkinson in 1817. It affects the body’s ability to control movement. Parkinson’s disease mostly affects people over 60 years and is progressive in nature.

Parkinsons disease involves the malfunction and death of certainnerve cells in a small area of the brain stem which controls movement. These nerve cells make a brain chemical which relays messages between the substantia nigra and other parts of the brain to produce smooth coordinated muscle movements.

Without dopamine, the brain does not receive the signals, leading to progressive loss of muscle function and tremors.

Hence Parkinson was originally called a “shaking palsy. As the disease progresses, patients have difficulty in walking, talking, or completing other simple daily tasks.

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The Parkinsons Community Is Strong

The Parkinsons Foundation is here for our global Parkinsons community that includes family members and caregivers. The Foundation hosts Moving Day walks across the nation and also provides additional ways to get involved donate, volunteer, host a fundraiser, join PD Conversations or advocate.

Keep reading: Get Involved

Were here for you. Get answers to your Parkinsons questions when you contact our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO or .

Myth: Parkinsons Can Be Cured


Unfortunately, theres no cure for Parkinsons disease at the moment.

Drugs like Levodopa can slow down symptoms by replacing the missing dopamine in the brain, and are particularly effective in the early stages of Parkinsons.

However, working out how to stop brain cells from getting sick in the first place is more difficult.

Parkinsons also affects people in different ways. Rather than a single cure that works for everyone, researchers are looking into a range of new therapies to help different forms of the condition. One of these is gene therapy, which they hope will reprogramme cells to keep them healthy.

Treatment can be confusing, but your doctor will talk through your options and find the best fit for you. Often medication will be combined with physiotherapy or occupational therapy, to help you control the condition better and keep you doing what you love for longer.

Research milestones in the treatment of Parkinsons

Parkinsons UK is a leading charity funding research into new treatment. This year theyve been focusing on overcoming race inequalities in Parkinsons research, as well as using cannabidiol to treat some of the psychological symptoms of the disease. Previous breakthroughs in Parkinsons research include:

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Does Pd Only Affect Motor Skills

No! In addition to affecting movement, people living with PD also experience many other symptoms. Its estimated that more than 50% of people living with PD also live with depression and 40% of people with PD also have anxiety. Other common symptoms of PD include:

  • Erectile dysfunction for men low sex-drive or painful sex for women

For a complete list of symptoms related to PD, visit the MGH website.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease

In the very deep parts of the brain, there is a collection of nerve cells that help control movement, known as the basal ganglia . In a person with Parkinson’s disease, these nerve cells are damaged and do not work as well as they should.

These nerve cells make and use a brain chemical called dopamine to send messages to other parts of the brain to coordinate body movements. When someone has Parkinson’s disease, dopamine levels are low. So, the body doesn’t get the right messages it needs to move normally.

Experts agree that low dopamine levels in the brain cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but no one really knows why the nerve cells that produce dopamine get damaged and die.


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Support For People With Parkinsons Disease

Early access to a multidisciplinary support team is important. These teams may include doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dietitians, social workers and specialist nurses. Members of the team assess the person with Parkinsons disease and identify potential difficulties and possible solutions.There are a limited number of multidisciplinary teams in Victoria that specialise in Parkinsons disease management. But generalist teams are becoming more aware of how to help people with Parkinsons disease.

Can’t You Smell That Smell

Managing Parkinson Disease

Most people with a reduced sense of smell do not develop Parkinsons disease. However, this is a common symptom in people with PD, and it can be an early sign of the disease. Why does this happen?

Researchers believe that the protein alpha-synuclein, found in the brain of all PD patients, may originate in the olfactory bulb region first before moving into other parts of the brain. Active alpha-synuclein research is ongoing at the Michael J Fox Foundation . According to MJFF, there are currently 13 clinical trials of potential Parkinsons therapies targeting alpha-synuclein.

Some medications and the virus that causes COVID-19 can cause hyposmia, too, so be sure to have your doctor or pharmacist review your current medications or take a COVID test, if you’ve lost your sense of smell. If you test positive for COVID, contact your doctor for further instructions.

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Surprising Facts About Parkinsons Disease

Early warning signs and treatments to delay progression of the disease.

3 min read

Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinsons disease each year. When people think of Parkinsons, tremors, stiffness, and loss of dexterity usually come to mind. But what we now know is that patients with the disease often develop symptoms that may begin months, and sometimes even years, before physical symptoms appear.

Two of these early symptoms are a loss of the sense of smell , and constipation. But the most significant early symptom is a specific sleep problem called REM behavior disorder, or RBD. With RBD, people spend more time in the REM stage of sleep, which is when we dream. In people with RBD, these dreams are very vivid, and are accompanied by vocalizations and movements . These movements can be so frantic that the persons bedmate may need to be careful to avoid injury.

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What Are The Symptoms Of The Disease

The four primary symptoms of PD are:

  • Tremor. Tremor often begins in a hand, although sometimes a foot or the jaw is affected first. The tremor associated with PD has a characteristic rhythmic back-and-forth motion that may involve the thumb and forefinger and appear as a pill rolling. It is most obvious when the hand is at rest or when a person is under stress. This tremor usually disappears during sleep or improves with a purposeful, intended movement.
  • Rigidity. Rigidity , or a resistance to movement, affects most people with PD. The muscles remain constantly tense and contracted so that the person aches or feels stiff. The rigidity becomes obvious when another person tries to move the individuals arm, which will move only in ratchet-like or short, jerky movements known as cogwheel rigidity.
  • Bradykinesia. This slowing down of spontaneous and automatic movement is particularly frustrating because it may make simple tasks difficult. The person cannot rapidly perform routine movements. Activities once performed quickly and easilysuch as washing or dressingmay take much longer. There is often a decrease in facial expressions.
  • Postural instability. Impaired balance and changes in posture can increase the risk of falls.

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Hanie Tsoi Ba Cda Member Of Cdaac

Stephanie has an Honours Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from University of Waterloo. She also completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Infant and Early Child Mental Health at Seneca College and Communicative Disorders Assistant at Durham College. She has 2 years of experience working with verbal and non-verbal children, youth and adults with various speech and language concerns in centers as well as 1:1 sessions.

Stephanie holds certificates in Psychological First Aid, Triple P Group Stepping Stones, Triple P Group Teen, CPR and First Aid. She is very passionate about providing evidence-based practice to aid her client reach their speech and language goals, and educating caregivers to facilitate and participating in their speech and language development and rehabilitation. She is currently working towards becoming an Speech and Language Pathologist.

Stephanie is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Stephanie provides Speech therapy services in the Scarborough, Markham and Richmond Hill region.

Diagnosis Of Parkinson’s Disease Isn’t Always Clear Cut

Here is an interesting fact about #Parkinson

Many researchers believe that Parkinson’s disease is due to a combination of factors including genetics and environmental toxins.

Patients who develop young-onset Parkinsons disease by age 40 may have a genetic component and close relatives may have an increased risk of developing Parkinsons. However, PD usually starts in most people after age 60, and the chances of having an inherited gene is much lower if an older family member develops PD.

There is no specific lab test to diagnose PD. Instead, doctors look for symptoms during an exam. Also, if a patient’s symptoms improve after taking a Parkinson’s medication such as levodopa, the diagnosis is more likely to be correct.

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Parkinson’s Disease By Age And Gender

Parkinsons disease generally affects people who are over 60 years old. Early-onset Parkinsons disease is defined as beginning before age 50. The prevalence of Parkinsons disease increases with increasing age, and it is estimated to affect 1 in 40 people who are 85 to 89 years old.

People who begin to have symptoms at an older age generally have more severe symptoms and also have more comorbid conditions , such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes.

Parkinsons disease is more common among males than females, affecting approximately twice as many males.

In This Fact File We Will Take A Look At A Few Facts And Figures About The Condition Which You May Not Be Aware Of Crucially We Want To Help Raise Awareness Of The Condition And To Help As Many People As Possible Understand What Sufferers May Be Going Through Here Are A Few Interesting Facts About Parkinsons Disease Which You May Not Be Aware Of

  • Parkinsons Disease is known to affect more men than it does women. In fact, research and ongoing studies show that men are up to 1.5x more likely to suffer from the condition than women. Whats more, the risk of developing PD, as it is abbreviated, tends to increase as people get older.
  • However, that does not mean that children or young people are immune from the condition. In fact, there is such as thing as early onset PD, meaning that people must always be on the lookout for symptoms and signs of the condition.
  • Symptoms of PD can vary from person to person. However, it is most commonly identifiable through balance problems and bodily shaking, as well as muscle pain and rigidity. PD may even affect speech and memory in the long run.
  • PD remains very mysterious in that researchers still arent too sure what causes it, nor how we can cure it altogether. Many PD sufferers continue to lead full lives thanks to treatments and support which help to relieve some of the more debilitating symptoms. However, as of 2020, there is still no specific cure for PD. In fact, in some cases its genetic, in some cases it isnt.
  • Some research shows that chemicals and pollution may have an impact upon a persons susceptibility to PD. Studies are ongoing, though there do appear to be some links between metal pollutants and PD.
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