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HomeExclusiveWhat Percent Of The Population Has Parkinson's Disease

What Percent Of The Population Has Parkinson’s Disease

Rem Sleep Behavior Disorder An Early Symptom Of Parkinsons Disease

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Research suggests thatREM sleep behavior disorder is an early symptom of Parkinsons disease. The findings suggest that nearly half of those with RBD will go on to develop Parkinsons disease. The study also added that nearly every person with RBD will go on to develop a neurological disorder.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Michael Howell, said, If you get this disorder and live long enough, you will almost certainly get Parkinsons disease or a condition similar to it its an early warning sign.

The main symptom of RBD is acting out dreams when the person should normally be in a paralyzed state. Researchers believe that individuals with RBD have a brain-stem malfunction, which allows for the movement to take place.

Patients with RBD report that movement can range from small hand gestures to violent acts, such as punching or kicking.

To determine if RBD contributes to Parkinsons disease the research team went through over 500 studies published between 1986 and 2014. What they found was 81 to 90 percent of RBD patients went on to develop a neurological disorder.

Parkinsons is caused by the breakdown of certain proteins in neurons that produce dopamine. The protein breakdown is of alpha-synuclein, and RBD is believed to result from the early stages of alpha-synuclein breaking down.

Parkinsons Disease Hereditary Factors

Although a person may have hereditary factors, like a mutation in a certain gene that predisposes them to Parkinsons disease, it does not mean that they will definitely develop the disease.

Only about 10% of cases of Parkinsons have a known genetic contribution to the development of the disease. Two genes that are often found to contribute are the SNCA gene and the LRRK2 gene.

The SNCA gene codes for a protein called alpha-synuclein. Alpha-synuclein is a protein that is abundant in the brain, muscle, heart, and other tissues. Its exact function is still unknown. Studies suggest the alpha-synuclein contributes to the regulation of the release of dopamine from the nerve endings. A mutation in the SNCA gene has been found in many families that have had Parkinsons disease passed down.

A mutation in the LRRK2 gene has also been found in families that have Parkinsons. The LRRK2 gene has been found as the most often genetic factor for Parkinsons disease development. Researchers are unsure of the reason this gene contributes to PD. However, this knowledge is foundational for future breakthroughs in the treatment of Parkinsons.

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Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease And Risk Factors

Parkinsons disease is caused by low dopamine activity in certain areas of the brain. Its associated with degeneration of the substantia nigra, a small area of the brain that produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter that mediates motor movements and other body functions.

The underlying cause or trigger for these changes is not known, although some people have a family history of the condition.

Many potential risk factors have been examined as possible triggers, including exposure to chemicals, but no environmental or lifestyle factors have been confirmed as causing Parkinsons disease.

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How Do I Take Care Of Myself

If you have Parkinsons disease, the best thing you can do is follow the guidance of your healthcare provider on how to take care of yourself.

  • Take your medication as prescribed. Taking your medications can make a huge difference in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. You should take your medications as prescribed and talk to your provider if you notice side effects or start to feel like your medications aren’t as effective.
  • See your provider as recommended. Your healthcare provider will set up a schedule for you to see them. These visits are especially important to help with managing your conditions and finding the right medications and dosages.
  • Dont ignore or avoid symptoms. Parkinsons disease can cause a wide range of symptoms, many of which are treatable by treating the condition or the symptoms themselves. Treatment can make a major difference in keeping symptoms from having worse effects.

What Research Is Being Done

People with Parkinsons discuss ways they cope with their disease ...

The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use the knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. NINDS conducts and supports three types of research: basicscientific discoveries in the lab, clinicaldeveloping and studying therapeutic approaches to Parkinsons disease, and translationalfocused on tools and resources that speed the development of therapeutics into practice. The goals of NINDS-supported research on Parkinsons disease are to better understand and diagnose PD, develop new treatments, and ultimately, prevent PD. NINDS also supports training for the next generation of PD researchers and clinicians and serves as an important source of information for people with PD and their families.

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What Causes Parkinsons Disease Dementia

A chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine helps control and coordinate muscle movement. Over time, Parkinsons disease destroys the nerve cells that make dopamine.

Without this chemical messenger, the nerve cells cant properly relay instructions to the body. This causes a loss of muscle function and coordination. Researchers dont know why these brain cells disappear.

Parkinsons disease also causes dramatic changes in a part of your brain that controls movement.

Those with Parkinsons disease often experience motor symptoms as a preliminary sign of the condition. Tremors are one of the most common first symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

As the disease progresses and spreads in your brain, it can affect the parts of your brain responsible for mental functions, memory, and judgment.

Over time, your brain may not be able to use these areas as efficiently as it once did. As a result, you may begin experiencing symptoms of Parkinsons disease dementia.

You have an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease dementia if:

How Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia Diagnosed

No single test can diagnose Parkinsons disease dementia. Instead, doctors rely on a series or combination of tests and indicators.

Your neurologist will likely diagnose you with Parkinsons and then track your progression. They may monitor you for signs of dementia. As you get older, your risk for Parkinsons dementia increases.

Your doctor is more likely to conduct regular testing to monitor your cognitive functions, memory recall, and mental health.

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Lewy Body Dementia Vs Parkinsons Disease Dementia

Diagnoses of Lewy body dementia include dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinsons disease dementia. Symptoms in both of these diagnoses can be similar.

Lewy body dementia is a progressive dementia caused by abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. Lewy bodies are also seen in Parkinsons disease.

The overlap in symptoms between Lewy body dementia and Parkinsons disease dementia include movement symptoms, rigid muscles, and problems with thinking and reasoning.

This seems to indicate that they could be linked to the same abnormalities, though more research is needed to confirm that.

The later stages of Parkinsons disease have more severe symptoms that may require help moving around, around-the-clock care, or a wheelchair. Quality of life can decline rapidly.

Risks of infection, incontinence, pneumonia, falls, insomnia, and choking increase.

Hospice care, memory care, home health aides, social workers, and support counselors can be a help in later stages.

Parkinsons disease itself isnt fatal, but complications can be.

Research has shown a median survival rate of about

From Symptoms To Diagnosis

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

The average age at which people first experienced symptoms was 64.4 years, with a diagnosis of Parkinsons 1.9 years later at 66.2. The period between symptom onset and diagnosis was longer for younger peoplean average of almost 7 years . Physicians may initially rule out Parkinsons in younger people, since it predominantly affects older adults.Note 9

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How Is Parkinsons Diagnosed

Doctors use your medical history and physical examination to diagnose Parkinson’s 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, Parkinson’s is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. 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.

Sidebar: Morris K Udall Centers Of Excellence For Parkinson’s Disease Research

The Morris K. Udall Parkinsons Disease Research Act of 1997 authorized the NIH to greatly accelerate and expand PD research efforts by launching the NINDS Udall Centers of Excellence, a network of research centers that provide a collaborative, interdisciplinary framework for PD research. Udall Center investigators, along with many other researchers funded by the NIH, have made substantial progress in understanding PD, including identifying disease-associated genes investigating the neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to PD, developing and improving PD research models, and discovering and testing potential therapeutic targets for developing novel treatment strategies.

The Udall Centers continue to conduct critical basic, translational, and clinical research on PD including: 1) identifying and characterizing candidate and disease-associated genes, 2) examining neurobiological mechanisms underlying the disease, and 3) developing and testing potential therapies. As part of the program, Udall Center investigators work with local communities of patients and caregivers to identify the challenges of living with PD and to translate scientific discoveries into patient care. The Centers also train the next generation of physicians and scientists who will advance our knowledge of and treatments for PD. See the full list of Udall Centers.

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Who Should Get Genetic Testing

Two groups might consider getting genetic testing, according to Gilbert:

  • People with Parkinsons who want to know if they have a mutation they may pass along to their children
  • Children and siblings of family members with Parkinsons who want to determine their genetic risk for the disease

Right now its not standard of care for everyone with Parkinsons to get genetic testing, she says. The likelihood that were going to find one of these mutations that is known already is small, and even if you have a mutation associated with Parkinsons, it doesnt mean that youre going to get the disease.

So, at this point, the value of getting tested depends on the individual. Doctors can provide this type of genetic evaluation, or people may turn to direct-to-consumer genetic testing, such as 23andMe. These tests, however, can be limited.

You have to be careful with those panels because theyre not very comprehensive, says Gilbert. They may test for only one or two gene variations.

Currently, 23andMe analyzes DNA from spit samples for a variant in LRRK2 and a variant in the GBA gene associated with the disorder. The company makes it clear that the exam does not diagnose the disease, and there are many other mutations to consider.

Parkinsons patient Paul Cannon, PhD, who works for 23andMe as its Parkinsons research community manager, took the test and found that he had neither of the genetic variations.

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Dementia Outcomes According To Baseline Cognitive And Psychiatric Variables


Of those diagnosed with dementia, 11 were diagnosed according to Level 2 MDS criteria, and 16 according to Level 1 criteria. Patients destined to develop dementia were older at baseline and more often male . As expected, those with baseline MCI had increased dementia risk . The prevalence of MCI at baseline in the dementia-converted group was 81.5% compared with 32% in the nondementia group. A baseline history of visual hallucinations , visual illusions , subjective cognitive complaints , thought disorders , and depression also predicted dementia development. Higher apathy scores were observed in the dementia group than in the nonconverted group .

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Incidence And Prevalence Mf Ratios

Among 457027 persons with at least one reimbursement of antiparkinsonian drugs in 2010, 188562 persons were predicted as being treated for PD, of whom 10723 died in 2010. The corrected number of prevalent cases was 149672 . Among persons treated for PD in 2010, 29940 were new cases. The corrected number of incident cases was 25438 . There were no important sex differences among prevalent and incident PD cases for characteristics included in the prediction model .

Systematic review of age-specific male-to-female incidence ratios of Parkinson’s disease. Circles represent observed male-to-female incidence ratios for each study by age-by-sex strata, estimated by modelling incidence through Poisson regression their size is proportional to the variance of the male-to-female incidence ratios, and more precise estimates are represented by larger circles. Solid line, linear regression of male-to-female incidence ratios weighted by the inverse of their variance on age . Dashed line, 95% CIs of the linear regression.

What Is Aggressive Parkinsons Disease

As written above, Parkinsons dementia aggression is that form of Parkinsons which makes the patient exhibit aggressive behavior. They vent out their aggression either verbally or physically, in the various forms that have been written above. Besides verbal and physical outbursts, PD Dementia patients are also prone to hallucinating caused by the medication administered. Hallucinations in PD Dementia patients primarily occur because of the effects of dopaminergic agents for motor symptoms.

Loss of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area is one of the likeliest of all neuropathological causes as changes in serotonin and norepinephrine systems are not. For the uninitiated, the ventral tegmental area is the origin of the mesolimbic dopaminergic projection. Plenty of studies have gone into analyzing the cause behind the aggression in PD Dementia patients. Depression in PD Dementia patients has been identified due to changes in the medial frontal cortex and the anterior cingulate. Akinetic-rigid variants have been found in patients showing signs of major depression.

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What Are The Mortality Rates For Parkinson’s Disease

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

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

Is Parkinsons Hereditary

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A MyParkinsonsTeam member recently asked, Should I do genetic testing for PD? Several of my family members have had it Does it run in families?

The short answer is: its complicated. There is still much that scientists do not know about Parkinsons disease . It remains largely unknown why certain people get it and others dont. Based on the available data and research, most scientists believe that PD is due to a combination of nature and nurture genetics plus environmental factors. These factors may include certain drugs or exposures to chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.

About 85 percent of PD cases are thought to be sporadic, meaning that they occur without any genetic factors that can be identified. The other 15 percent of cases are considered potentially familial or genetic, with certain genes and mutations leading to an increased risk of developing PD.

If you know of family members who have PD, you may be wondering if you or others will get it one day as well. Therefore, its important to understand a few key facts about what might prompt PD to develop.

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What Is The Prevalence

It is important to understand the difference between incidence and prevalence. Incidence is the number of new cases of a disease that are diagnosed in a time period. Usually, incidence is the number of new cases per year.3

Prevalence is the number of cases of a disease that exist at any point in time. This number is larger because it includes new cases and all the existing cases of a disease.3

In 2014, the Parkinsons Foundation started a project to get a better measurement of PD prevalence. Currently, there are an estimated 1 million people in the United States living with PD. About 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with PD in the United States. Experts estimate there will be 1.2 million people in the United States living with PD by 2030.1,3


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