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.
Writing Tips For Parkinsons Disease
- Use large print, instead of script writing. Try using weighted pens or pencils and wrap black electrical tape around the barrel for additional grip.
- Use felt-tip markers and a large tablet on an easel.
- If you have difficulty using writing utensils, try typing notes or letters on a computer or typewriter.
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Cleaning Tips For Those With Parkinson’s
- Use long handles on sponge mops, cleaning brushes, dust pans, brooms, or window washers.
- Sit to fold laundry, wash dishes, iron clothes, use the sweeper, mop the floor, or to plug in appliances at low outlets. Adapt counters so that you can reach them from your wheelchair or from a sitting position.
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Should I Talk To My Healthcare Provider Before I Start Exercising If I Have Parksinson’s Disease
Talk to your neurologist and your primary care provider before starting a new exercise regimen. They can:
- Counsel you on how intense your exercises can be.
- Recommend exercises appropriate for your individual health.
- Refer you to a physical therapist to create a personal exercise program.
- Warn about exercises to avoid based on your particular challenges or limitations.
What About Other Drinks
Parkinsons patients should avoid drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. These products can negatively affect disease symptoms. Especially, diet soda could be very toxic.
Moderate consumption of caffeine and alcohol shouldnt cause any harm but their high amount may possibly actuate adverse effects in patients. Few clinical trials have reported that daily consumption of coffee may improve some of Parkinsons symptoms. Therefore, researchers often encourage the use of moderate amounts of coffee in Parkinsons disease.
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Learn More About How Parkinsons Affects Families & Relationships
Much more can be found in a powerful new edition of Davis Phinney Foundations free Every Victory Counts® manual. The Every Victory Countsmanual has an entire section on Parkinsons and the family along with tools care partners may find useful along their caregiving journey.
Its jam-packed with up-to-date information about everything Parkinsons, plus an expanded worksheets and resources section to help you put what youve learned into action. Color coding and engaging graphics help guide you through the written material and point you to complementary videos, podcasts and other materials on the Every Victory Counts companion website. And, it is still free of charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.
Request your copy of the new Every Victory Counts manual by clicking the button below.
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Who Does It Affect
The risk of developing Parkinsons disease naturally increases with age, and the average age at which it starts is 60 years old. Its slightly more common in men or people designated male at birth than in women or people designated female at birth .
While Parkinsons disease is usually age-related, it can happen in adults as young as 20 .
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Stretching To Loosen Stiff Muscles Of Parkinson’s
The following stretching and flexibility exercises can help to relieve stiff muscles, improve flexibility, and make everyday tasks easier:
Suggest They Join A Support Group
A Parkinsons support group will allow your loved one to share their thoughts and feelings with others who are experiencing the same thing. This may help reduce loneliness and isolation.
Your loved one may learn about treatment options and resources that have helped others in the group, and make new friends in the process. Support groups also usually welcome the families and friends of people with Parkinsons.
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Coping With Cognitive Changes And Parkinsons
Cognitive decline and behavioral changes often occur in the middle and late stages of Parkinsons disease. Caregivers must be particularly understanding and flexible when loved ones begin experiencing changes in memory and thinking. A PD patient may have trouble with planning, problem-solving, multitasking and spatial reasoning, which can make daily activities frustrating, impossible or even dangerous. Its important to encourage independence but remain focused on ensuring their safety.
Changes in a loved ones brain may also affect their ability to communicate. Approximately 89 percent of people diagnosed with Parkinsons disease also have some type of progressive motor speech disorder. A PD patients voice may become softer or hoarser, they may have difficulty finding words, or their speech may become slurred. Working with a speech therapist can help an elder maintain their communication skills and confidence in social settings. Continue to encourage open communication, minimize distractions, and allow more time for responses as well as verbalized requests.
Getting Dressed With Parkinson’s Disease
- Get dressed while sitting in a chair that has armrests — this will help you keep your balance.
- Roll from side to side to get pants over your hips. You can do this while sitting in a chair or lying down on your bed.
- Wear clothes that are loose fitting and have elastic waistbands.
- Choose wrap-around clothing instead of the pullover type. Also choose clothing that opens in the front, not the back so you don’t have to reach behind you.
- Wear clothing with large, flat buttons, zippers, or Velcro closures.
- Use a button hook to button clothing.
- Use a dressing stick if you have shoulder weakness to get your coat or shirt on or off.
- Use a zipper pull or attach a leather loop on the end of the zipper to zip pants or jackets.
- Wear slip-on shoes or buy elastic shoelaces that allow you to slip your shoes on and off without untying the laces. Use devices such as a sock donner and long-handled shoehorn for additional assistance.
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Making Your Home Safe
As Parkinson’s progresses, a person with the condition experiences more mobility issues. They’ll need more assistance going about their day-to-day lives. Getting around their home safely might also become a little more challenging.
Here are a couple of things you can do to make your home safer for a person with Parkinson’s disease:
- Keep the floors clear: Any things that can easily be tripped over on the floors of your home, like electrical cords, should be kept away. Keep the usual path they take through the house as clear as possible.
- Install ramps when needed: At the later stages of Parkinson’s, a person’s mobility might become so restricted that they need a wheelchair. It’s essential to make your home wheelchair-friendly and accessible if this happens.
- Make your bathroom safer: Install grab bars around the tub and anti-slip mats in them if you have a bathtub. Also, keep personal hygiene products within easy reach to prevent them from slipping or falling over trying to reach for them.
Stimulating Activities For Elderly People With Parkinsons
Parkinsons disease can negatively affect many aspects of a seniors life, but staying actively engaged can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the disease. With careful planning, family caregivers can find various activities that are less intrusive and can be performed in moderation. Here are some safe and engaging activities that seniors with Parkinsons should try.
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Fantastic Activities For Seniors With Parkinsons
By Amanda Butas 9 am on August 26, 2019
Finding interesting things to do is difficult for many caregivers and their loved ones. While you need to provide activities that keep your senior loved one challenged, he or she may not be able to do some of the things he or she used to enjoy. These seven activities are exciting, interesting, and perfect for helping seniors with Parkinsons overcome their challenges.
The Basic Elements Of Exercising With Parkinsons
There are four core elements of exercise that are important for people with PD:
Including all four of these elements in your exercise regimen is ideal .
Aerobic activity or high-intensity exercise may be particularly important for Parkinsons and general health
High-intensity exercise has been formally studied in PD with impressive results. The Study in Parkinson Disease of Exercise Phase 2 enrolled 128 people with early PD, who were not yet on dopaminergic medication into three groups:
- a high-intensity treadmill exercise group, in which people exercised at 80-85% of their maximum heart rate
- a moderate-intensity treadmill exercise group, in which people exercised at 60-65% of their maximum heart rate
- a wait-list control group
After six months, the high-intensity group had essentially no change in their motor scores, whereas the control group had a three-point worsening of their motor scores.
Currently, the SPARX3 trial is enrolling participants and underway. This trial is similar to SPARX2, but with a goal of studying many more participants.
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Talk To An Experienced Caregiver
It can be helpful to you, as well as your loved one and close family members, to connect with a seasoned caregiver. This person, whom you may find through your doctors office or at a support group , has gone through similar things youre facing at different times.
Experienced caregivers can provide reassurance and tried-and-true strategies for everything from making sure medications are taken, to recommending classes that have been helpful, to suggesting products that make a patients life easier. A trusted person whos a step or two ahead of you can also show you by example that the condition can be effectively managed, and it generally progresses slowly.
Other Tips For Caregivers
Arming yourself with the proper knowledge and preparing for the degenerating symptoms of the condition are the first and most essential steps for a caregiver taking care of a loved one with Parkinson’s disease.
Other tips that can make this challenging prospect a little more manageable include:
- Maintain a healthy diet: Maintaining a healthy diet for your loved ones is as important as ensuring they stay on their medication and treatment plan.
- Ask for help: Don’t feel like you have to take on all of the care alone. If you can afford it, you can hire assistance or reach out to other family and friends to help you with the care.
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Design A Safe Resistance Training Program To Help You Keep Your Muscle Strength
Resistance training is highly recommended for people with Parkinson disease. Resistance training reduces the severity of motor disease and improves:
- Strength and power.
- Nonmotor symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and others.
- Your ability to perform at work and do your daily activities .
- Quality of life.
Combine Exercise With Diet
Dr. Gostkowski says if you want to feel your best, combine a healthy diet with exercise. Research has shown that regular exercise can improve PD symptoms.
Do exercise that raises your heart rate, Dr. Gostkowski says. Aim for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Dont worry about specific exercises. Do an activity you enjoy, as long as it gets your heart rate up. Try brisk walking or biking or more advanced exercise for veteran athletes. I recommend seeing an occupational therapist. They can tailor an exercise program to your needs.
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What Causes The Condition
Although there are several recognized risk factors for Parkinsons disease, such as exposure to pesticides, for now, the only confirmed causes of Parkinsons disease are genetic. When Parkinsons disease isnt genetic, experts classify it as idiopathic . That means they dont know exactly why it happens.
Many conditions look like Parkinson’s disease but are instead parkinsonism from a specific cause like some psychiatric medications.
Familial Parkinsons disease
Parkinsons disease can have a familial cause, which means you can inherit it from one or both of your parents. However, this only makes up about 10% of all cases.
Experts have linked at least seven different genes to Parkinson’s disease. They’ve linked three of those to early-onset of the condition . Some genetic mutations also cause unique, distinguishing features.
Idiopathic Parkinsons disease
Experts believe idiopathic Parkinsons disease happens because of problems with how your body uses a protein called -synuclein . Proteins are chemical molecules that have a very specific shape. When some proteins dont have the correct shape a problem known as protein misfolding your body cant use them and can’t break them down.
With nowhere to go, the proteins build up in various places or in certain cells . The buildup of these Lewy bodies causes toxic effects and cell damage.
The possible causes are:
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May not be big enough for taller users to be fully covered
Parkinsons can cause some people to become more sensitive to the cold, which means a heated blanket can come in handyno matter what time of the year. This 100% polyester electric throw from Hyde Lane is thick and soft, which makes it the perfect snuggle buddy. And with a power cord over six feet, you can position yourself comfortably without worrying about unplugging at any point. It also has three different heating levels that help relieve body aches and pains, making it easier to relax and hopefully, fall asleep.
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Recognize Parkinsons Disease Symptoms In A Loved One
Close friends and family members are often the first to notice the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. However, these changes are easily confused with the typical signs of aging, particularly in the early stages.
The symptoms of Parkinsons disease include:
- Tremors or shaking in the hand or jaw
- Jerky, rigid movements
What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinsons warning signs can be motor symptoms like slow movements, tremors or stiffness. However, they can also be non-motor symptoms. Many of the possible non-motor symptoms can appear years or even decades ahead of motor symptoms. However, non-motor symptoms can also be vague, making it difficult to connect them to Parkinson’s disease.
Non-motor symptoms that might be early warning signs include:
- Sleep problems such as periodic limb movement disorder , rapid eye movement behavior disorder and restless legs syndrome.
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The Pencil Grip Heavyweight Mechanical Pencil Set Tpg
Make your loved ones day-to-day a little easier, starting with their writing utensils.
Accomplishing tasks can take longer due to slowness of movements, explains Dr. Nwabuobi. Writing and performing other fine motor tasks such as putting on jewelry or shaving can become more laborious due to tremor. Weighted pens are a great way for those with Parkinsons to cut down on tremors and gain better control of their hand while writing, making the process easier and handwriting more readable.
This weighted pen from The Pencil Grip is said to help people develop better motor control and build up strength through regular use. It weighs four ounces to add a nice level of heftiness and bring a smooth finish to any writing efforts.
Upon diagnosis, Dr. Nwabuobi advises all her patients to become physically active and start a fitness regimen. Ideally, exercise should include stretching, aerobic activity, and resistance training. I tell patients to do what they love as long as they are increasing their heart rate and breaking a sweat. This can include speed walking, dancing, yoga, swimming, cycling, boxing, pilates, etc., she adds. An apple watch is a great way for Parkinsons patients to not only keep track of their exercise habits, but all their daily movements. It also monitors heart rates and irregular irregular heart rhythms. Honestly, theres nothing like a new, shiny device meant to encourage physical activity to make you get up and move.
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.
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