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What Is The Difference Between Alzheimer’s Dementia And Parkinson’s

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Whats The Difference Between Lewy Body Dementia Parkinsons Disease And Alzheimers Disease

Dementia vs Alzheimer’s: What is the Difference?

Lewy body dementia is an umbrella term for two related clinical diagnoses: “dementia with Lewy bodies” and “Parkinson’s disease dementia.” These disorders share the same underlying changes in the brain and very similar symptoms, but the symptoms appear in a different order depending on where the Lewy bodies first form.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory and thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with everyday activities. It specifically affects a person’s ability to plan and solve problems, called executive function, and their ability to understand visual information. Dementia always appears first in DLB. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremor, slowness, stiffness and walking/balance/gait problems usually become more evident as the disease progresses. Visual hallucinations, REM sleep behavior disorder, fluctuating levels of alertness and attention, mood changes and autonomic dysfunction are also characteristic of DLB.

Finally, Alzheimer’s is characterized by different abnormal clumps called amyloid plaques, and jumbled fiber bundles called tau tangles. These microscopic structural changes in the brain were discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906. These plaques and tangles, together with loss of connections between nerve cells, contribute to loss of coherence and memory, as well as a progressive impairment in conducting normal activities of daily living.

Mayo Clinic Q And A: Lewy Body Dementia And Alzheimers Disease Whats The Difference

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What’s the difference between Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer’s? How is Lewy body dementia diagnosed?

ANSWER: Doctors diagnose Lewy body dementia based on the range of symptoms a person shows. Generally, a Lewy body dementia diagnosis requires an ongoing decline in thinking skills, along with two of the following: visual hallucinations, Parkinsonism or fluctuating alertness. In addition, people who have Lewy body dementia also may experience a sleep condition known as REM sleep behavior disorder, in which people act out their dreams while they sleep. They also may have instability in their blood pressure and heart rate, and the body may have difficulty controlling body temperature and sweating.

A brain disease that gets worse over time, Lewy body dementia is caused by an abnormal protein, called synuclein, which is deposited in certain nerve cells and nerve processes. These deposits are called Lewy bodies — named after the physician who first identified them. In Lewy body dementia, Lewy bodies are found in the deep structures of the brain that control movement, as well as in the middle and outer structures involved in emotion, behavior, judgment and awareness.

Lewy body dementia is a complex disease, and it can be difficult to control. Currently, there’s no cure. But, when treatment is carefully managed, symptoms may be reduced, so they have less effect on a person’s daily functioning and quality of life.

Comparing Trajectories And Conceptualization Of Palliative Care For Dementia And Pd

The two disease trajectories may overlap partly as dementia is a frequent manifestation of PD. Mild cognitive impairment may already present upon diagnosis of PD . Importantly, it is independently associated with lower quality of life . Across studies, typically about a quarter of patients with PD have dementia , but ultimately, most develop dementia .

A clear conceptualization of palliative care in chronic-progressive diseases is important for the development of healthcare systems that facilitate the integration of a palliative approach . Therefore, in this article we compare the disease trajectories of dementia and PD in as far as relevant for the conceptualizations of palliative care. We do not include atypical Parkinsonian disorders such as multiple system atrophy because these warrant a special approach with earlier palliative care . We first provide background on where we are by describing how palliative care for dementia and PD developed.

What Are Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Medical Treatment And Medications

There is no specific therapy for dementia in Parkinson’s disease. Although cognitive symptoms initially may appear to respond to drugs that promote dopamine production, the improvement is mild and transient in contrast to the early responses to motor control improvement with medication in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease dementia medications

Various medications are used to treat the movement disorders of Parkinson’s disease, some may exacerbate symptoms related to dementia.

  • These include dopamine given in the form of levodopa; medications known as dopamine agonists that act on the dopamine receptor; and medications that slow down the metabolism of dopamine. They are often used in conjunction with monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as rasagiline. In addition, anticholinergic drugs are sometimes used.
  • Unfortunately, these drugs may affect cognitive symptoms and mood disorders.
  • The anticholinergic drugs, for example, help balance levels of dopamine and acetylcholine, another neurotransmitter, in the brain. These drugs can improve movement disorders but often make memory loss worse.

The dementia of Parkinson’s disease may respond to drugs used in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. However, these drugs, called cholinesterase inhibitors , lead to only small and temporary improvements in cognition.

Mood disorders and psychoses are usually treated with other medication.

Things You Should Know About The Link Between Parkinsons And Dementia

Differences Between Dementia & Alzheimer

Both Parkinson’s disease and dementia were ravaging the brain and behavior of actor Robin Williams before his death, but at the time, he didn’t realize he had the latter.

Despite the fact that the signs of this combination can be confusing, the double diagnosis of Parkinson’s and dementia impacts a large number of people. Of the one million people who have Parkinson’s in the U.S., 50 to 80 percent may have dementia—either as a result of Parkinson’s pathology, or separately.

Robin Williams’ widow, Susan, wrote an editorial published in Neurology that was addressed to neurologists after his death. In it, she shared what it was like seeing her husband experience both Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia firsthand.

“My hope is that it will help you understand your patients along with their spouses and caregivers a little more,” Susan wrote.

Williams was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which at first seemed to provide some answers for his out-of-character symptoms.

But it wasn’t until after his death that an autopsy revealed he had been in the later stages of Lewy body dementia—a common form of dementia characterized by deposits of Lewy body proteins in the brain, which can impact physical movement, mood, memory and behavior.

“I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting,” Susan wrote. “But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life.”

The Pathologies Are Different But Many Of The Symptoms Can Be Similar

“We do know that the pathology is quite different” between Parkinson’s and dementia, said Dr. Odinachi Oguh, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “But the processes in which memory is impacted in both diseases is about the same.”

“From the pathology standpoint, both diseases are characterized by a neurodegenerative process,” Oguh said. “The neurodegeneration results in abnormal accumulation of protein, which builds up and becomes toxic to the brain.”

Alzheimer’s, for example, affects memory areas of the brain, which include the temporal lobes, as well as the memory center, or hippocampus. Parkinson’s, meanwhile, starts in the basal ganglia part of the brain, and as the disease progresses, it can also affect the memory center, resulting in forgetfulness, an early sign of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

How Parkinsons And Alzheimers Affect The Body And Brain Differently

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are both neurological illnesses. Both diseases are caused by damaged brain cells. Both conditions can involve dementia, as well as depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Both conditions can lead to psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.

While Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s share certain causes and effects, the two diseases are different. They impact the brain and progress in different ways. Both disorders affect people differently, manifest themselves differently, and progress at different rates.

I had a father with Parkinson’s and a mother with dementia. My experience was that the Parkinson’s progressed at a slower rate and was more motor-related than mental.

My father experienced tremors, as well as changes in his walking and facial expressions. But his cognitive ability was relatively intact up to the very last stages of the disease. My mother’s dementia made her feeble and uncertain on her feet, but she remained active and mobile, even as her cognitive ability declined.

Differences Between Delirium Dementia Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s

Your brain doesn’t finish developing until your mid-to-late 20s. Is it all downhill from there? Neuroscientists are discovering that you can continue to rewire your brain to encourage growth and prevent your brain cells from dying, but everyone experiences age-related cognitive decline.

It’s often lumped into an umbrella category of “mental slowdown” that happens as you get older.

However, there are a few different brain diseases that affect aging adults. Here’s how to understand the difference between delirium, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Difference Between Alzheimers Disease And Parkinsons Disease

Twilight Zone: October 2016

• Categorized under Health | Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease vs Parkinson’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are both degenerative brain diseases. However, they differ in their symptoms, biological and physical manifestations , causes, and treatment.

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that’s more directly related with a person’s age. The primary pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease observes nerve cell deterioration which is demonstrated as an increased loss of coherence and a progressive loss of ability to conduct normal activities of daily living.

From a biochemical perspective, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the lack of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter in both the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system . Anatomically, portions of the brain such as the temporal lobe, parietal lobe, and frontal cortex are affected.

There is little known treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, though research indicates that acetylcholinesterase inhibitors can slow the progression of the disease once a positive diagnosis has been established. Studies for prevention suggest that performing simple mental exercises such as reading and maintaining regular mentally stimulating activity reduces the chance of acquiring the disease.

Treatment for Parkinson’s disease involves dopamine precursors and agonists to increase the presence of dopamine.


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.

Diagnosis: Parkinson’s Dementia Or Dementia With Lewy Bodies

During assessment, a specialist may look at when the dementia symptoms first appeared before reaching a diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. 

If there have been motor symptoms for at least one year before dementia symptoms occur, specialists will often give a diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia.

If dementia symptoms occur before or at the same time as motor symptoms, specialists will usually give a diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies.

However, it should be noted that in some cases of dementia with Lewy bodies, no motor symptoms develop at all.

There’s no single test – diagnosis is made through several different assessments, usually starting with an appointment with your GP or Parkinson’s nurse.

Some people find it helps to go to the appointment with someone who knows them well, who can give the GP or Parkinson’s nurse information about changes they’ve noticed.

Your GP can discuss your symptoms with you and carry out a physical examination, including blood and urine tests, to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms . 

Your GP may also review your medication, in case your symptoms are side effects.

If your GP thinks you have dementia, they can refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist or geriatrician.

You might be referred to a memory clinic or memory service. In some areas of the country, you can refer yourself to these services.

But if you feel you need to see the specialist again, you can ask to be referred back.  

Theres No Cure For The Diseases But Some Therapies May Help

Certain drugs, like cholinesterase inhibitors and antipsychotic medications, are prescribed as treatment for people with Parkinson’s and dementia. And lifestyle changes—from improved diet, sleep, exercise and socializing—have been shown to have beneficial effects on patients with these diseases.

Oguh noted she hopes that improved treatments that will help some of the emotional and behavioral problems in these patients will be on the horizon soon.

“I’m hoping that with the new advances in medication, we’ll be able to control better,” Oguh said. “I believe there will be better medication to improve cognition in patients, and that that will be seen in the next five to 10 years.”

What Is Needed For A Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Diagnosis

Difference between Dementia and Alzheimer

There is no definitive medical test that confirms cognitive decline or dementia in Parkinson’s disease. The most accurate way to measure cognitive decline is through neuropsychological testing.

  • The testing involves answering questions and performing tasks that have been carefully designed for this purpose. It is carried out by a specialist in this kind of testing.
  • Neuropsychological testing addresses the individual’s appearance, mood, anxiety level, and experience of delusions or hallucinations.
  • It assesses cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, orientation to time and place, use of language, and abilities to carry out various tasks and follow instructions.
  • Reasoning, abstract thinking, and problem solving are tested.
  • Neuropsychological testing gives a more accurate diagnosis of the problems and thus can help in treatment planning.
  • The tests are repeated periodically to see how well treatment is working and check for new problems.

Imaging studies: Generally, brain scans such as CT scan and MRI are of little use in diagnosing dementia in people with Parkinson’s disease. Positron emission tomographic scan may help distinguish dementia from depression and similar conditions in Parkinson’s disease.

What Is The Best Way To Communicate With A Person With Pdd

PD-related mood and motor changes can impact communication; cognitive changes and Parkinson’s disease dementia can further these difficulties. 

  • 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.

The Differences Between Parkinsons Disease And Alzheimers

Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, are the causes of two common types of neurological disorders related to dementias.

However, there are many aspects that allow us to distinguish between the two diseases; in this article we will know the most important differences between Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s .

See A Doctor If Youre Noticing Symptoms Beyond Parkinsons

Sometimes the mood or memory changes a person experiences cannot entirely be explained just by Parkinson’s. If this is the case, “the caregiver should explore other diagnoses, because if something cannot be explained by Parkinson’s, there’s certainly a risk of it being dementia,” Oguh said.

She added that some signs to look for include increased memory and behavioral problems, like mood swings, anxiety or depression. Psychiatric behaviors, like hallucinations, delusions or paranoia, cannot just be explained by Parkinson’s, and are more likely to be caused by a form of dementia like Lewy body dementia.

Oguh urged caregivers to be aware of changing symptoms like these.

“I think sometimes family members are able to realize sooner than the patient,” Oguh said. “Often the patient might lack insight as to what is happening. I would encourage family members to seek expert opinion and treatment options.”

Conceptualization Of The Diseases Needs And Interventions

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Both dementia and PD are incurable and progressive diseases with often complex problems and needs, for which tailored interventions are available . For dementia, experts agree that “recognizing its eventual terminal nature is the basis for anticipating future problems and an impetus to the provision of adequate palliative care” . Some advocate advanced dementia to be a terminal disease to support eligibility for palliative care. However, as about half of dementia patients never reach an advanced stage ; , it may be a late trigger to initiate palliative care. There is no consensus, however, at which stage palliative care in dementia should start .

Table 2. Conceptualization of the disease, needs of patients and family caregivers, and interventions.

For PD there are no curative treatments either, but the success of dopaminergic replacement therapy and deep brain stimulation has enabled the majority of patients to live independently with a relatively low symptom burden for the first 10 years after diagnosis-when they live up to a decade . This may contribute to PD generally not being recognized as an illness for which a palliative approach may be helpful . A US patient and caregivers council recommends palliative care to be available from diagnosis of PD . This is also the ideal of the European Parkinson’s Disease Association although they emphasize that when to start palliative care is an individual decision.

Lewy Body Dementia: A Common Yet Underdiagnosed Dementia

While it’s not a household word yet, Lewy body dementia is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, it is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. In fact, many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with LBD.

Dementia With Lewy Bodies And Parkinson Disease Dementia

, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Dementia with Lewy bodiesParkinson disease dementia

Dementia is chronic, global, usually irreversible deterioration of cognition.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is the 3rd most common dementia. Age of onset is typically > 60.

Lewy bodies are spherical, eosinophilic, neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions composed of aggregates of alpha-synuclein, a synaptic protein. They occur in the cortex of some patients who have dementia with Lewy bodies. Neurotransmitter levels and neuronal pathways between the striatum and the neocortex are abnormal.

Lewy bodies also occur in the substantia nigra of patients with Parkinson disease, and dementia may develop late in the disease. About 40% of patients with Parkinson disease develop Parkinson disease dementia, usually after age 70 and about 10 to 15 years after Parkinson disease has been diagnosed.

Because Lewy bodies occur in dementia with Lewy bodies and in Parkinson disease dementia, some experts think that the two disorders may be part of a more generalized synucleinopathy affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems. Lewy bodies sometimes occur in patients with Alzheimer disease, and patients with dementia with Lewy bodies may have neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease overlap considerably. Further research is needed to clarify the relationships among them.

The Need For More Public Awareness And Research Funding

While the differences between Alzheimer’s and dementia are clear to families dealing with the diseases, more public awareness is needed to differentiate between the two.

Further understanding of what exactly causes Alzheimer’s will help to clear any confusion and hopefully lead to better treatments plans and, ultimately, a cure.

Ways To Decrease The Risk Of Parkinsons And Alzheimers

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There is currently no “cure” for either disease. Parkinson’s is considered a more treatable condition, however, especially in the early stages of the disease. Treatments include medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes. Research continues to suggest that a brain-healthy lifestyle can help prevent both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Adopt a healthy diet with good nutrition. Brain-healthy diets, such as the Mediterranean or “DASH” diet have proven to make a difference. Diets with fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, beans, fish, poultry and dairy can protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, and promote cognitive health. By reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, these diets promote cognitive health. They can mitigate the risks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Stay away from processed meats, butter and heavy cream, saturated fat. Too much sugar is also dangerous. Sugar is an inflammatory that can also lead to unhealthy weight gain.
  • Fitness and exercise. At least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, 3-4 days a week, is considered a preventative measure. Build physical activity into the daily routine. It doesn’t have to be high impact; it can be walking, riding a stationary bike, or swimming.
  • Treating Alzheimers Disease Vs Other Types Of Dementia

    Neither Alzheimer’s nor most other types of dementia have a cure. Doctors focus treatments on managing symptoms and keeping the disease from getting worse.

    Some of the treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s overlap.

    • Cholinesterase inhibitors can help with memory loss in certain types of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
    • Glutamate inhibitors help with learning and memory in both dementia and Alzheimer’s.
    • Sleep medications may help with sleep changes.
    • Antidepressants can help with depression symptoms.
    • Antipsychotic medications may help with behavior changes.

    Some types of dementia respond to treatment, depending on what is causing it. Your doctor may recommend:

    • Stopping the use of drugs and alcohol
    • Tumor removal

    Is The Dementia Caused By Parkinsons Or Something Else

    Indications that dementia may be caused by something other than Parkinson’s disease include agitation, delusions , and language difficulties. If the onset of cognitive symptoms is sudden, they’re more likely due to something other than Parkinson’s disease—even 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 Parkinson’s patients, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in older adults.

    Parkinson’s disease dementia vs. other dementias

    Other types of dementia that can be commonly mistaken for Parkinson’s 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.

    Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are both common in the elderly, especially in those over 85. Patients with Parkinson’s who develop dementia may even develop Alzheimer’s dementia as well. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the and how it’s treated.

    Don’t Smoke Lessen Alcohol Intake & Do Not Take Drugs

    Even if you don’t drink a lot, alcohol has a cumulative effect on your brain. One blackout after a drinking binge can induce life long memory loss. Over time, smaller amounts of alcohol will lead to blackouts and soon you’ll have a ton of lost time even though you barely drank one bottle of beer.

    Smoking negatively affects memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain while repeated drug use kills your neurons and the rushes of dopamine reinforce drug dependence.

    Challenge Your Brain By Learning Something New Weekly

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    You need to change how you stimulate your brain on a weekly basis, or else your brain becomes lazy. Actively seek to challenge your cognitive skills, and possibly learn something new and enhance your other talents along the way, too.

    Newsweek AMPLIFY- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

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    Adaptogens are a classification of mushrooms and herbs that will help your body’s reaction to stress by regulating your physiological and hormonal responses. They are also always nontoxic to the patient! For an herb or mushroom to be categorized as an adaptogen, they must have no side effects or cause any kind of irregular disturbance to the body’s regular functions.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

    Cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease may range from a single isolated symptom to severe dementia.

    • The appearance of a single cognitive symptom does not mean that dementia will develop.
    • Cognitive symptoms in Parkinson’s disease usually appear years after physical symptoms are noted.
    • Cognitive symptoms early in the disease suggest dementia with Parkinsonian features, a somewhat different condition.

    Cognitive symptoms in Parkinson’s disease include the following:

    • Loss of decision-making ability
    • Loss of short- and long-term memory
    • Difficulty putting a sequence of events in correct order
    • Problems using complex language and comprehending others’ complex language

    Persons with Parkinson’s disease, with or without dementia, may often respond slowly to questions and requests. They may become dependent, fearful, indecisive, and passive. As the disease progresses, many people with Parkinson’s disease may become increasingly dependent on spouses or caregivers.

    Major mental disorders are common in Parkinson’s disease. Two or more of these may appear together in the same person.

    The combination of depression, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease usually means a faster cognitive decline and more severe disability. Hallucinations, delusions, agitation, and manic states can occur as adverse effects of drug treatment of Parkinson’s disease, this might complicate the diagnosis of Parkinson’s dementia.

    ADHD Symptoms in Children?

    Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Surgery And Gene Therapy

    • Great strides have been made in the surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Several different procedures are now available, and they are successful in many patients in relieving movement symptoms. Unfortunately, surgery has no effect on cognitive symptoms. In fact, most people with dementia are not candidates for surgery.
    • Gene therapy is in its infancy; there are ongoing human and animal trials with various methods to insert genes into neuronal cells to reduce or stop Parkinson’s disease symptoms by causing cells to produce dopamine coded by the newly inserted genes. Early results with the treatment termed ProSavin are encouraging. However, it is not clear if such therapy could prevent or reverse Parkinson’s disease dementia.

    The Differences Between Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s

    Do you know the differences between Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s? First of all, we must say that both diseases constitute two of the causes of dementia. Now, let’s be a bit more specific. According to data from the WHO , dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease represents 60-70% of all cases of dementia in the world.

    However, it’s important to keep in mind that they’re very different diseases. Additionally, we must make clear that having either condition doesn’t always lead to the development of dementia . In this sense, we know that between 20-60% of people with Parkinson’s disease end up developing dementia.

    Buter et al. conducted a study that was published in the journal Neurology. It was conducted with 233 patients with Parkinson’s disease. The researchers were able to observe that about 60% of them developed Parkinson’s dementia in a period of 12 years.

    So what’s dementia? It refers to the set of symptoms that arise as a consequence of neurological damage or disease. These symptoms involve the loss or weakening of the mental faculties and mainly affect three different areas: cognitive , behavioral , and personality .

    Not Everyone With Parkinsons Will Develop Dementia

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    Despite the fact that the pathology of Parkinson’s disease can trigger the development of different types of dementia, not everyone with Parkinson’s will develop dementia. About 30 percent of people with Parkinson’s will actually not develop dementia at all, as stated by the National Parkinson Foundation.

    However, “the vast majority of people with Parkinson’s may experience some form of cognitive impairment over time,” the foundation says.

    Symptoms Related To Brain Function Are Different

    There is some overlap, but in general, the overall cognitive symptoms that people experience with Parkinson’s disease dementia and Alzheimer’s are different. Alzheimer’s mainly affects language and memory at the outset, whereas Parkinson’s affects problem-solving, speed of thinking, memory, and mood.6

    Unlike in Alzheimer’s disease, people with Parkinson’s-related dementia often experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoid thoughts. Both conditions can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.4,6


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