Causes Of Early Onset Parkinsons Disease
Its unclear exactly what causes Parkinsons at any age. Genetic factors, environmental factors, or some combination of the two may play a role. This condition occurs when cells are lost in the part of the brain that produces dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for sending brain signals that control movement.
Certain genes are associated with early onset Parkinsons.
According to the National Parkinson Foundation, studies show that 65 percent of people with Parkinsons who experience onset before age 20 may do so because of a genetic mutation. This organization also suggests this mutation affects 32 percent of people who experience onset between age 20 and 30.
Environmental causes of the condition may include exposure to chemical toxins such as certain insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes Parkinsons as a disease caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Agent Orange is a synthetic chemical herbicide that was used to spray vegetation and trees during the Vietnam War.
You may have a higher risk of developing Parkinsons if you:
- are a man
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What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms
Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinsons disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didnt exercise or didnt start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinsons, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.
Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments whether medicines or deep brain stimulation are optimal; and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.
How I Treated My Own Brain Deterioration
Everything I did to restore my own brain health I learned from a natural health practitioner called Jodi Knapp.
I discovered Jodi on a local health forum some years ago. She works with people using natural approaches to reverse illnesses which were caused by natural causes.
Which is, in fact, almost every illness known to man.
Her philosophy is simple: disease always has a cause.
If I have pain, a deterioration or some painful or deadly affliction there are reasons why I have it.
It doesnt just happen.
Understand those reasons and we have ways of reversing whats gone wrong.
Jodis incredible success rate at treating allegedly untreatable illness comes from her starting at the illnesses first causes.
Those causes are always natural causes. She tackles them and changes lives.
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Common Drugs For Parkinson’s Disease
Levodopa and carbidopa . Levodopa is the most commonly prescribed medicine for Parkinsonâs. Itâs also the best at controlling the symptoms of the condition, particularly slow movements and stiff, rigid body parts.
Levodopa works when your brain cells change it into dopamine. Thatâs a chemical the brain uses to send signals that help you move your body. People with Parkinsonâs donât have enough dopamine in their brains to control their movements.
Sinemet is a mix of levodopa and another drug called carbidopa. Carbidopa makes the levodopa work better, so you can take less of it. That prevents many common side effects of levodopa, such as nausea, vomiting, and irregular heart rhythms.
Sinemet has the fewest short-term side effects, compared with other Parkinsonâs medications. But it does raise your odds for some long-term problems, such as involuntary movements. An inhalable powder form of levodopa and the tablet istradefylline have been approved for those experiencing OFF periods, OFF periods can happen when Parkinsonâs symptoms return during periods between scheduled doses of levodopa/carbidopa.
People who take levodopa for 3-5 years may eventually have restlessness, confusion, or unusual movements within a few hours of taking the medicine. Changes in the amount or timing of your dose will usually prevent these side effects.
I Feel Wonderful And Theres A Reason Why
Actually, there are three fantastic reasons:
First and foremost: I have tackled the loss of dopamine by working on the underlying cause of that loss.
We know that cell loss in the substantia nigra is the direct cause of dopamine loss. I address that cell loss in gentle but powerful ways and so protect dopamine levels.
Second, I increase dopamine production in my brain using non-drug methods. Increasing dopamine fights this condition head-on leading to wonderfully quick improvements.
Third, I have taken each of the symptoms of my illness stiffness, shaking, anxiety and so on and addressed them directly. Ive enacted specific daily habits that make those symptoms reduce to almost nothing.
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Do I Need To Take Medication How And When Should I Take It
In the beginning, a single medication or a combination of different medications can be used with medical treatment being started in low doses and increased gradually. Medication is always individual and can vary greatly between people. Therefore, medical treatment requires follow-up by a physician with a good knowledge of the condition.
Your doctor will be on hand to advise when to take your medication so that it works best for you, for example before, with or after eating, whether you should take with or without protein etc. By working closely with your doctor, you will be able to find the right balance and combination of medications to suit you. It is important that you monitor your response to the medication regularly so that medicine remains as effective as possible;in managing your symptoms. Again, if you are unsure or do not understand everything the doctor has told you, please ask him or her to explain again as it is important for you to follow the advice you are given accurately.
Some people find that combining medication with conventional therapies such as;physiotherapy,;occupational therapy;and;speech and language therapy, as well as surgical treatments or complementary therapies;such as;aromatherapy,;reflexology,;yoga,;tai chi is helpful. But if you are considering these therapies it is always advisable to discuss with your doctor first.;
What Is Early Onset Parkinsons Disease
If a person receives a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease before the age of 50 years, this is called early onset Parkinsons disease. The person may have the hallmark symptoms of tremor, rigidity, and slowness of movement, but confusion and balance problems are less likely than with a later diagnosis.
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How Do I Get An Ongoing Supply And Can I Obtain Medication If I Go To Other Countries
You will need to discuss with the doctor or specialist who prescribes your medication how you can get an ongoing supply. This will vary according;to where you live and the local services available, but usually arrangements are made for repeat prescriptions to be available at a pharmacy which is convenient for you.;
Your doctor will also be able to tell you how many weeks’ supply you can have in advance. Again this varies from country to country so you will need to ask about this.
Not all medications are licensed in every country, and some are known by different names so it is a good idea to check the local names of medications you use before you travel if you are going abroad.;
For information on availability at other international destinations it is best to check with your pharmacist, or local Parkinsons association. This website contains contact details for;Our members,;Other Parkinsons organisations.
As some medications are difficult to obtain in certain countries, and also in some cases, the quality may not always be of the highest standards, it is best to ensure that you take with you all the medications that you will need.
Carrying a few spare with you is always a good idea in case of any delays in your return. It is also advisable to carry a spare prescription with you just in case you do run out of medication while you are away.
For more information and useful suggestions on medication and travel, see;Travel and relocating.
Why Does Modern Medicine Know This But Ignore It
Why dont we tackle the inflammation and toxins causes of those nerve cells continually dying in the substantia nigra?
My doctor told me: its cultural.
Most patients especially in western countries want a drug or a procedure for a problem.
Something thats a one-off fix like an operation.
Or an easy, regular thing like a course of tablets.
What they dont want to have to make an effort to heal themselves. So pills it is.
But most inflammatory diseases can be tackled more effectively by lifestyle changes than by drugs.
Whole classes of deadly modern illnesses can be changed by a small number of simple, targeted lifestyle tweaks.
But our medics push meds because they know that, mostly, their patients wont make lifestyle changes.
So they give their patients drugs knowing that theyll at least take them.
Frustratingly, the best solution addressing lifestyle factors isnt at all difficult. Its just that popping a pill is easier.
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Medication Not Working The Way It Used To
In the early stages, taking medicine works well to get rid of symptoms. But as Parkinsons progresses, your medication works for shorter periods of time, and symptoms return more easily. Your doctor will need to change your prescription.
Dr. Valerie Rundle-Gonzalez, a Texas-based neurologist, says to pay attention to how long your medicine takes to kick in and when it stops working. She says you should feel like symptoms significantly improve or are almost gone while on medication.
Are There Ways To Manage Dyskinesia
Once dyskinesia has started it is difficult to treat. However, there are several ways to delay it from starting or reduce it once it has begun.
Supplemental or alternative treatment options
Things you can do on your own
- Keep a diary that logs the time and frequency of dyskinesia, which will help your doctor assess if your medications are working and help you schedule daily activities when mobility is better.
- Physical activity, including mild aerobic exercise such as walking, dancing, and swimming, will help keep the body strong and prevent muscle weakening.
- Stress can make dyskinesia symptoms worse, so find ways to reduce stress and try to keep a positive attitude.
- Poor sleep at night is associated with dyskinesia. Aim for good sleep quality and try to experiment with different positions in bed that will help you relax and sleep better.
What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
Store cassettes containing levodopa and carbidopa enteral suspension in the refrigerator in their original carton, protected from light. Do not freeze the suspension.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Quick Summary If Youre In Hurry
- Are very effective for controlling the main movement symptoms and can also be helpful for some of the non-movement symptoms.
- Can have side effects both in the shorter and longer term. Not everyone will experience severe problems, and medication can usually be adjusted to minimise them.
- Do not suddenly stop working, but it becomes more challenging to manage symptoms and minimise side effects as the condition progresses.
But we still dont know for sure
- Whether Parkinsons drugs have any effect positive, negative or neutral on the underlying rate of the progression of Parkinsons.
- If any particular type of medication is best in the initial stages or in the long term.
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Managing Medication Interactions And Side Effects
All prescribed medications can have potential side effects, including those used to treat Parkinsons. Some things you think are symptoms of Parkinsons may actually be side effects of medication. Some peoples side effects will have a big impact on their lives and have to be kept under control along with the symptoms.
Taking Medicine With Food
Early in the disease, it might be helpful to take pills with food to help with nausea, which may be caused by some of the medicines for Parkinsons disease.
Later in the disease, taking the medicines at least 1 hour before meals may help them work best.
Some medicines for Parkinsons disease dont work as well if you take them at the same time you eat food with protein in it, such as meat or cheese. The protein can block the medicine and keep it from working as well as it should.
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Diagnosing Early Onset Parkinsons Disease
There is no single test to detect Parkinsons. A diagnosis may be difficult and take a while. The condition is usually diagnosed by a neurologist based on a review of your symptoms and a physical exam.
A DaTscan to visualize your brains dopamine system may help confirm diagnosis. Blood tests and other imaging tests, such as an MRI scan, dont diagnose Parkinsons. However, they may be used to rule out other conditions.
What Would Happen If I Try To Manage Without Medication For Some Time
Any change to your medication regime must be discussed with your doctor so that you understand how this might affect you.
Parkinsons medication should never be stopped abruptly as this can be dangerous. If both you and your doctor agree to stop any medication, it will be necessary to do so by very gradually reducing the medication dose.
If you agree to do so, it would be useful if you kept a diary to monitor how this was affecting your symptoms. This can help to highlight any changes in symptom pattern, or in your emotions or behaviour that may be related to medication.;
Writing down your own individual experiences on a day-to-day basis can also help you to talk about any changes in your symptoms and your feelings with your doctor. This can be very useful, particularly as appointments are often too short for doctors to ask lots of questions, and your visit may be on a day when your symptoms do not follow their general pattern.
See also;Keeping a diary.
Taking A Closer Look At Your Options
Since the drug levodopa was synthesized in the 1960s, levodopa in combination with carbidopa , has been the gold standard for treating the symptoms of Parkinsons. However, after several years of taking this medication some people experience dyskinesias, or involuntary writhing movements. This is sometimes referred to as levodopa-induced dyskinesias or LIDS. The fear of these side effects has led many clinicians and patients to avoid levodopa-carbidopa for as long as possible.
But some experts do not believe this levodopa phobia is warranted . In short, they say that levodopa can be considered as a potential first-line therapy in all age groups—although caution should be exercised in younger patients. In most cases, the dosage will start low then increase slowly, often in combination with other medications, to adjust to a persons changing condition.
Other first-line medications that can be used to control Parkinsons symptoms include drugs known as dopamine agonists and monamine oxidase inhibitors. Dopamine agonists provide relief by mimicking the action of dopamine within the brain, and monamine oxidase inhibitors help maintain motor control by slowing the breakdown of dopamine within the brain. These drugs can help younger patients buy some time before starting levodopa-carbidopa.
Effect On Parkinsons Progression
Do you think starting the meds accelerates Parkinsons? Im in two minds
There has been a longstanding concern that levodopa the main drug used to treat Parkinsons might be toxic and actually contribute to the damage and loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.
- In the 1990s, research using brain cells grown in the lab suggested that levodopa may generate toxic chemicals called free radicals and increase a damaging process called oxidative stress inside brain cells.
- However, experiments in animal models of Parkinsons suggested levodopa is not toxic in animals and may even have beneficial effects in helping damaged cells to recover.
- The most comprehensive study carried out in people so far found that levodopa does not slow the progression of Parkinsons but does have a long- lasting beneficial effect on symptoms.
- There is currently another major clinical trial underway the LEAP study which aims to understand whether early treatment with levodopa is beneficial.
Take home message: Despite many research studies in cells, animals and people, we still dont know whether Parkinsons drugs have an effect positive, negative or neutral on the underlying rate of the progression of Parkinsons.
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