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What Is The Difference Between Parkinson’s Disease And Parkinsonism

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Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Parkinson’s & Huntington’s: What’s the difference?

DLB is second only to Alzheimers as the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. It causes progressive intellectual and functional deterioration. In addition to the signs and symptoms of Parkinsons disease, people with DLB tend to have frequent changes in thinking ability, level of attention or alertness and visual hallucinations. They usually do not have a tremor or have only a slight tremor. The parkinsonian symptoms may or may not respond to levodopa.

Parkinson And Its Hallmark Symptoms

Parkinsons is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, and causes a person to lose control over some body functions.

Syndrome progresses gradually and differs from individual to individual. Parkinsons patients also experience mood swings accompanied by depression and anxiety.2

Whats The Difference Between Progressive Supranuclear Palsy And Parkinsons

People with PSP generally progress more rapidly than people with Parkinsons. A person with Parkinsons tends to lean forward while a person with PSP tends to lean backward. Tremors are common in people with Parkinsons and rare in people with PSP. Speech and swallowing abnormalities are more severe and show up sooner in those living with PSP.

For more information on progressive supranuclear palsy, read this fact sheet and insights from the CurePSP organization website.

Read Also: How Long Can A Person Live With End Stage Parkinson’s

Lewy Bodies: More Than Lbd

LBD is characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies in the nerve cells of the brain, meaning that LBD patients have Lewy bodies in the brain.2 However, Lewy bodies are also common with other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons disease. In fact, most people with PD also have Lewy bodies in their brain. However, even if they have Lewy bodies, not all Parkinsons patients will also develop LBD.2

Multiple System Atrophy Formerly Called Shy

A Comparison of Parkinsons to Alzheimers  Journey with ...

As predicted by the name of this parkinsonism, multiple system atrophy affects multiple systems of the body. It affects both the motor skills movement system and the involuntary system of the body. Though the symptoms can often be treated with medications, there is no cure. In addition, there are no drugs that are able to slow the progress of MSA.

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What Is Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons disease occurs when brain cells that make dopamine, a chemical that coordinates movement, stop working or die. Because PD can cause tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems, it is called a movement disorder. But constipation, depression, memory problems and other non-movement symptoms also can be part of Parkinsons. PD is a lifelong and progressive disease, which means that symptoms slowly worsen over time.

The experience of living with Parkinson’s over the course of a lifetime is unique to each person. As symptoms and progression vary from person to person, neither you nor your doctor can predict which symptoms you will get, when you will get them or how severe they will be. Even though broad paths of similarity are observed among individuals with PD as the disease progresses, there is no guarantee you will experience what you see in others.

Parkinsons affects nearly 1 million people in the United States and more than 6 million people worldwide.

For an in-depth guide to navigating Parkinsons disease and living well as the disease progresses, check out our Parkinsons 360 toolkit.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Dr. Rachel Dolhun, a movement disorder specialist and vice president of medical communications at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, breaks down the basics of Parkinson’s.

How Is Parkinsons Disease Treated

There is no cure for Parkinsons disease. However, medications and other treatments can help relieve some of your symptoms. Exercise can help your Parkinsons symptoms significantly. In addition, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy can help with walking and balance problems, eating and swallowing challenges and speech problems. Surgery is an option for some patients.

Read Also: What Are Early Warning Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease

Mri Technique In Distinguishing Psp And Parkinsons Disease

A medical study was conducted on 10 patients who showed motor symptoms. All the 10 patients have Parkinsons and 5 patients were experiencing vertical supranuclear gaze palsy with increased imaging biomarker values and slowness in vertical saccades.

MRI was performed on these patients that included both MRPI and MRPI 2.0. The values showed different ranges between these patients and it also helped to identify the condition during the early stage of the symptoms.

Clinical variables assessed the motor functions and cognitive functions. Results were prepared based on the imaging biomarkers and clinical variables and it showed that disease progression was most severe in PSP when compared to Parkinsons disease.3,4

  • Association, European Parkinsons Disease. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy . Progressive Supranuclear Palsy | European Parkinsons Disease Association, www.epda.eu.com/about-parkinsons/types/progressive-supranuclear-palsy-psp/.
  • Rahilly, Anne. Distinguishing between Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Parkinsons Disease. Medical Xpress Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 10 Oct. 2014, medicalxpress.com/news/2014-10-distinguishing-supranuclear-palsy-parkinson-disease.html.
  • Ratan-NM. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Versus Parkinsons Disease. News, 29 Oct. 2018, www.news-medical.net/health/Progressive-Supranuclear-Palsy–Versus-Parkinsons-Disease.aspx.
  • Also Read:

    Jellinger Staging Scheme For Msa

    What is the difference between Parkinsons disease and other tremors? (Karen Blindauer, MD)

    It has been more challenging to stage pathology in MSA and PSP because of the rarity of these disorders and because of their inherent variability. Nevertheless, Jellinger has proposed a staging scheme for MSA that scores severity of striatonigral degeneration and olivopontocerebellar atrophy , each on a three-point scale. The final classification is indicated by an OPCA + SND score . proposed a similar scheme and graphically illustrated the two major MSA types, as well as the overlap in OPCA and SND system degenerations. Ozawa and colleagues used a semiquantitative scoring scheme for lesion density and found differences in the proportion of MSA types in Japanese compared to European autopsy cohorts, with far more OPCA in Japanese . Detection of MSA in neurologically normal individuals is extremely uncommon , and large numbers of such cases would be needed to determine the earliest sites of involvement to develop a staging scheme for MSA analogous to the Braak staging scheme for PD.

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    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.

    How Do Treatments Differ

    MS treatments can ease your symptoms during an attack or slow down the diseaseâs effects on your body.

    Steroids like prednisone calm the inflammation that damages your nerves.

    Plasma exchange is another therapy if steroids donât work. Your doctor will use a machine to remove the plasma portion of your blood. The plasma gets mixed with a protein solution and put back into your body.

    Some people with both diseases who take anti-inflammatory medicines like steroids see their Parkinsonâs symptoms get better.

    Disease-modifying treatments slow down MS nerve damage and disability. They include:

    National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke: âTremor Fact Sheet.â

    Neurology: âParkinsonâs Disease in Multiple Sclerosis – A Population-Based, Nationwide Study in Denmark .â

    Mayo Clinic: âMultiple Sclerosis: Overview,â âMultiple Sclerosis: Symptoms and Causes,â âMultiple Sclerosis: Treatment,â âParkinsonâs Disease: Causes,â âParkinsonâs Disease: Definition,â âParkinsonâs Disease: Risk Factors,â âParkinsonâs Disease: Symptoms.â

    Christopher Reeve Foundation: âHow the spinal cord works.â

    National Association for Continence: âParkinsonâs Disease.â

    National Multiple Sclerosis Society: âMS Symptoms,â âWho Gets MS? .â

    National Parkinson Foundation: âNon-Motor Symptoms.â

    Multiple Sclerosis Trust: âLhermitteâs sign.â

    Johns Hopkins Medicine: âPlasmapheresis.â


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    Macroscopic Pathologypd Msa Psp

    PD is often unremarkable, with mild frontal atrophy in some cases. There is no significant atrophy of brainstem, and this can be useful in the differential diagnosis of PSP and MSA, in which there is midbrain atrophy in PSP and pontine atrophy in MSA. Sections of the brainstem usually reveal loss of the normally dark black pigment in the substantia nigra and locus ceruleus, but pigment loss in the substantia nigra is also characteristic of PSP and MSA. The loss of pigmentation correlates with neuronal loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and noradrenergic neurons in the locus ceruleus. Pigment loss in the locus ceruleus is consistent in PD, but less predictable in PSP and MSA.

    MSA-P has atrophy and brownish discoloration of the posterolateral putamen , the brown color correlating with increased iron pigment. In cases with significant cerebellar signs, there is also atrophy of the pontine base and atrophy and gray discoloration of the cerebellar white matter. More subtle atrophy is noted in the medulla and the cerebellar cortex.

    Depression With Huntingtons Disease

    Images of MPTP

    Due to the nature and lower life expectancy of Huntingtons disease, it is common for a diagnosis to lead to depression. Patients with Huntingtons are at a higher risk of suicide.

    If you are struggling with your Huntingtons diagnosis or prognosis, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline online or call 1-800-662-4357 to seek help.

    For more mental health resources, including a helpful list of links and hotline numbers, see our National Helpline Database.

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    Glial Cytoplasmic Inclusions In Msa

    Lantos and co-workers first described glial cytoplasmic inclusions in MSA . Glial cytoplasmic inclusions can be detected with silver stains, in particular, the Gallyas silver stain, but are best seen with antibodies to -synuclein and ubiquitin, in which they appear as flame- or sickle-shaped inclusions in oligodendrocytes. At the ultrastructural level, glial cytoplasmic inclusions are nonmembrane-bound cytoplasmic inclusions composed of 10 to 20nm diameter coated filament similar to the filaments in Lewy bodies .

    Although most -synuclein inclusions in MSA are in oligodendroglial cells, certain neuronal populations are vulnerable to neuronal cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions, particularly those in the pontine base , inferior olive , and putamen. A few of the neuronal inclusions in MSA resemble Lewy bodies, but their anatomical distribution is distinct from neuronal populations vulnerable to Lewy bodies. Intranuclear -synuclein-immunoreactive inclusions are not found in PD.

    Clinical History And Testing

    Diagnostic tests can be used to establish some features of the condition and distinguish them from symptoms of other conditions. Diagnosis may include taking the person’s , a physical exam, assessment of neurological function, testing to rule out conditions that may cause similar symptoms, brain imaging, to assess cognitive function,, or myocardial scintigraphy. Laboratory testing can rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as abnormal , , , or vitamin deficiencies that may cause symptoms similar to dementia.

    Dementia screening tests are the and the . For tests of attention, , , and can be used for simple screening, and the Revised Digit Symbol Subtest of the may show defects in attention that are characteristic of DLB. The , and are used for evaluation of executive function, and there are many other screening instruments available.

    If DLB is suspected when parkinsonism and dementia are the only presenting features, PET or SPECT imaging may show reduced dopamine transporter activity. A DLB diagnosis may be warranted if other conditions with reduced dopamine transporter uptake can be ruled out.

    Since 2001, – has been used diagnostically in East Asia , but not in the United States. MIBG is taken up by nerve endings, such as those that innervate the heart, and is for scintigraphy with radioactive 123iodine. Autonomic dysfunction resulting from damage to nerves in the heart in patients with DLB is associated with lower cardiac uptake of 123I-MIBG.

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    Wait So What Is Parkinsonism

    Parkinsonism refers to the motor symptoms that are typically associated with PD, such as tremors, stiffness, and walking/balance problems. Both PD and LBD are forms of Parkinsonism, meaning that PD patients and LBD patients may experience these motor symptoms.2 Because the Parkinsonism motor symptoms of PD and LBD can be very similar, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two conditions.

    How Do I Prevent Falls From Common Hazards

    What is the difference between Essential tremor and Parkinson Disease tremor?
    • Floors: Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
    • Bathroom: Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower. Use non-skid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
    • Lighting: Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway and staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
    • Kitchen: Install non-skid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
    • Stairs: Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it might be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times you must climb the stairs.
    • Entrances and doorways: Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to the doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Atypical Parkinsonian Disorders

    Like classic Parkinsons disease, atypical Parkinsonian disorders cause muscle stiffness, tremor, and problems with walking/balance and fine motor coordination.

    Patients with atypical Parkinsonism often have some degree of difficulty speaking or swallowing, and drooling can be a problem. Psychiatric disturbances such as agitation, anxiety or depression may also be part of the clinical picture.

    Dementia with Lewy bodies can cause changes in attention or alertness over hours or days, often with long periods of sleep during the day. Visual hallucinations typically of small animals or children, or moving shadows in the periphery of the visual field are common in DLB. DLB is second only to Alzheimers disease as a cause of dementia in the elderly, and it most commonly affects patients in their 60s.

    Patients with progressive supranuclear palsy may have difficulties with eye movements, particularly when looking downward, and with balance when descending stairs, for instance. Backward falls are common and may occur during the early course of the disease. PSP is not usually associated with tremor, unlike Parkinsons disease.

    Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center

    The Difference Between Parkinson’s Disease And Lewy Body Dementia

    One of the most confusing concepts to explain in the clinic is the difference between Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia. Ultimately people with Parkinson’s can look very similar with motor and non-motor problems. This is particularly tricky when PwP first present but the easiest way to consider Lewy Body Dementia is like having a very aggressive progression of Parkinson’s where patients are dementing in the first year of their condition whereas this process is much slower when patients develop Parkinson’s Disease Dementia. Indeed, clinically Lewy Body Dementia patients look like they have a cross between Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, which is actually close to what is seen down the microscope when researchers study the brain. Understanding the differences between Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia is not only difficult for patients and their families but has led some professional groups to try and lump all of these patients together under one umbrella, which probably does little to help individual families appreciate what the future holds.

    Hopefully this video will help you to gain a more complete understanding of the differences between Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia.


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    What Are The Different Forms Of Parkinsonism

    There are three main forms of parkinsonism, as well as other related conditions.

    Most people with parkinsonism have idiopathic Parkinsons disease, also known as Parkinsons. Idiopathic means the cause is unknown.

    The most common symptoms of idiopathic Parkinsons are tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement.

    Vascular parkinsonism affects people with restricted blood supply to the brain. Sometimes people who have had a mild stroke may develop this form of parkinsonism.

    Common symptoms include problems with memory, sleep, mood and movement.

    Some drugs can cause parkinsonism.

    Neuroleptic drugs , which block the action of the chemical dopamine in the brain, are thought to be the biggest cause of drug-induced parkinsonism.

    The symptoms of drug-induced parkinsonism tend to stay the same only in rare cases do they progress in the way that Parkinsons symptoms do.

    Drug-induced parkinsonism only affects a small number of people, and most will recover within months and often within days or weeks of stopping the drug thats causing it.

    What Makes Them Different

    How and why does Parkinson

    MS and Parkinsonâs have different causes. They usually start to affect you at different ages, too.

    MS often affects people between ages 20 and 50, but children get it, too. Parkinsonâs usually starts at age 60 or older, but some younger adults get it.

    MS is an autoimmune disease. That means your bodyâs immune system goes haywire for some reason. It attacks and destroys myelin. As myelin breaks down, your nerves and nerve fibers get frayed.

    In Parkinsonâs, certain brain cells start to die off. Your brain makes less and less of a chemical called dopamine that helps control your movement. As your levels dip, you lose more of this control.

    Some genes may put you at risk for Parkinsonâs, especially as you age. Thereâs a small chance that people who are exposed to toxic chemicals like pesticides or weed killers can get it, too.

    These symptoms are more common if you have MS. They not usually found in Parkinsonâs:

    • Dizziness or vertigo, where you feel like the room spins around and you lose your balance

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