Mortality From Parkinsons Disease
With treatment, the life expectancy of people with PD is similar to that of the general population. However, dementia seems to largely impact life expectancy among people with PD, and about 50 percent to 80 percent of people with PD develop dementia in their lifetime. Risk factors for mortality include later age of onset, male sex, severity of motor impairment, presence of psychotic symptoms, and dementia. Early detection of disease, prevention of motor symptom progression, and treatment of dementia can increase life expectancy.8,9
How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed
Diagnosing Parkinsons disease is sometimes difficult, since early symptoms can mimic other disorders and there are no specific blood or other laboratory tests to diagnose the disease. Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, may be used to rule out other disorders that cause similar symptoms.
To diagnose Parkinsons disease, you will be asked about your medical history and family history of neurologic disorders as well as your current symptoms, medications and possible exposure to toxins. Your doctor will look for signs of tremor and muscle rigidity, watch you walk, check your posture and coordination and look for slowness of movement.
If you think you may have Parkinsons disease, you should probably see a neurologist, preferably a movement disorders-trained neurologist. The treatment decisions made early in the illness can affect the long-term success of the treatment.
Surgery For People With Parkinsons Disease
Deep brain stimulation surgery is an option to treat Parkinsons disease symptoms, but it is not suitable for everyone. There are strict criteria and guidelines on who can be a candidate for surgery, and this is something that only your doctor and you can decide. Surgery may be considered early or late in the progression of Parkinsons.;When performing deep-brain stimulation surgery, the surgeon places an electrode in the part of the brain most effected by Parkinsons disease. Electrical impulses are introduced to the brain, which has the effect of normalising the brains electrical activity reducing the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. The electrical impulse is introduced using a pacemaker-like device called a stimulator.;Thalamotomy and pallidotomy are operations where the surgeon makes an incision on part of the brain. These surgeries aim to alleviate some forms of tremor or unusual movement, but they are rarely performed now.
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What Causes Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, in an area of the brain that controls movement become impaired and/or die. Normally, these neurons produce an important brain chemical known as dopamine. When the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine, which causes the movement problems of Parkinson’s. Scientists still do not know what causes cells that produce dopamine to die.
People with Parkinson’s also lose the nerve endings that produce norepinephrine, the main chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls many functions of the body, such as heart rate and blood pressure. The loss of norepinephrine might help explain some of the non-movement features of Parkinson’s, such as fatigue, irregular blood pressure, decreased movement of food through the digestive tract, and sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or lying-down position.
Many brain cells of people with Parkinson’s contain Lewy bodies, unusual clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to better understand the normal and abnormal functions of alpha-synuclein and its relationship to genetic mutations that impact Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia.
Tremors Caused By Medications
In addition to drug-induced parkinsonism, which includes rest tremor and is caused by medications that block the dopamine receptor, there are also a wide variety of medications that do not block the dopamine receptor, but can cause other types of tremors, such as postural and action tremors. So if you have these types of tremors, but without the slowness, stiffness and other PD-like symptoms, you could have drug-induced tremor .
A;postural tremor;occurs when a body part is held against gravity. Postural tremors occur for example, when the arms are extended, such as when holding a tray. An action tremor;occurs when a body part is moving. Action tremors occur for example, when the arm is moving toward the mouth to eat.
Drug-induced tremors typically are symmetric or equal on both sides of the body. The medications that can cause tremor include, but are not limited to, lithium, valproic acid, amiodarone, beta-adrenergic agonists, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . Be attentive to whether a tremor starts after any new medication is started. If it does, discuss this with your doctor.
What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
Each person with Parkinsons disease experiences symptoms in in their own unique way. Not everyone experiences all symptoms of Parkinsons disease. You may not experience symptoms in the same order as others. Some people may have mild symptoms; others may have intense symptoms. How quickly symptoms worsen also varies from individual to individual and is difficult to impossible to predict at the outset.
In general, the disease progresses from early stage to mid-stage to mid-late-stage to advanced stage. This is what typically occurs during each of these stages:
Early symptoms of Parkinsons disease are usually mild and typically occur slowly and do not interfere with daily activities. Sometimes early symptoms are not easy to detect or you may think early symptoms are simply normal signs of aging. You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing.
Often, a family member or friend notices some of the subtle signs before you do. They may notice things like body stiffness or lack of normal movement slow or small handwriting, lack of expression in your face, or difficulty getting out of a chair.
Standing and walking are becoming more difficult and may require assistance with a walker. You may need full time help to continue to live at home.
Which Medicines Are Used To Treat Parkinson’s Disease
Guidelines released by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network recommend starting with a dopamine agonist, levodopa with a dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor or a monoamine-oxidase inhibitor. Other medicines are also sometimes used, usually in addition to one of these three main types of medication.
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Estimated Healthcare Costs Related To Pd In The Us
The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinsons, including treatment, social security payments and lost income, is estimated to be nearly $52;billion per year in the United States alone.
Medications alone cost an average of $2,500 a year and therapeutic surgery can cost up to $100,000 per person.
What Are The Four Primary Symptoms Of Pd
The following are the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Muscle rigidity. Stiffness when the arm, leg, or neck is moved back and forth.
- Resting tremor. Tremor that is most prominent at rest.
- Bradykinesia. Slowness in initiating movement.
- Postural instability. Poor posture and balance that may cause falls; gait or balance problems.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
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How Is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed
Someone with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be sent to see a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in the brain, nerves, and muscles. The neurologist may do some tests, including a brain scan and blood tests. These tests will not make the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, but the doctor will want to make sure that there is no other problem causing the symptoms. To diagnose Parkinson’s disease, the doctor relies on a person’s medical history, symptoms, and a physical exam.
Parkinson’s Disease Diet And Nutrition
Maintaining Your Weight With Parkinson’s Disease
Malnutrition and weight maintenance is often an issue for people with Parkinson’s disease. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Weigh yourself once or twice a week, unless your doctor recommends weighing yourself often. If you are taking diuretics or steroids, such as prednisone, you should weigh yourself daily.
- If you have an unexplained weight gain or loss , contact your doctor. He or she may want to modify your food or fluid intake to help manage your condition.
- Avoid low-fat or low-calorie products. . Use whole milk, whole milk cheese, and yogurt.
What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Most patients with Parkinsons disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable reducing symptoms during on periods and no longer controlling symptoms during off periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they cant. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.
How Does Environment Come Into It
Your environment is a hard one to pin down. Partly, that’s because it covers a lot of ground. It’s everything that’s not your genes, which could mean where you live, what you eat, chemicals you’ve come into contact with, and more.
Not only that, but it could take years for the effects from something in your environment to show up. So far, doctors have a lot of clues but no smoking gun. So you could have people who live or work in an area around chemicals tied to Parkinson’s, but many of them don’t get it.
Some research shows links between Parkinson’s and:
- Agent Orange, a chemical used to destroy trees and crops in the Vietnam War.
- Certain chemicals used in farming, such as insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
- Some metals and chemicals used in factories, such as manganese, lead, and trichlorethylene .
These can come into play based on where you live, what you do for work, or if you served in the military. Sometimes, these chemicals seep into well water, so that’s one more way they can affect you.
Who Are More Likely To Get The Disease
There are roughly 145,000 people in the United Kingdom who live with Parkinson’s disease. It’s believed that approximately one in every 500 people is affected by this disease.
Men are a little more likely to develop Parkinson’s compared to women. Around one in every 20 individuals with the condition initially experienced symptoms when they were below 40 years old.
The NHS recommends seeing a GP if there are any concerns about having symptoms of the disease. They will ask about the problems experienced and refer the patient to a specialist for further and more extensive tests.
Related information about signs of Parkinson’s Disease is shown on TEDx Talks’ YouTube video below:
Prevalence Of Parkinsons State
Western and Southern states appear to have lower rates of Parkinsons disease, while Northeastern and many Midwestern states have higher rates . Mississippi and Montana have the lowest rates of Parkinsons, at 5.1 per 10,000. Vermont has the highest rate of Parkinsons at 9.9 per 10,000.
Exhibit 2: Prevalence of Parkinsons Disease, by geography
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How Do Symptoms Progress And What Is The Outlook
The symptoms of PD tend to become gradually worse over time. However, the speed of progression varies greatly from person to person. When symptoms first begin, you may not need treatment when symptoms are relatively mild.
Most people with PD can expect to have some time of relatively mild symptoms. Then, when the symptoms become worse, they can expect several years of good or reasonable control of the symptoms with medication. But everyone is different and it is difficult to predict for an individual how quickly the disease will progress. Some people may only be slightly disabled 20 years after PD first begins, whereas others may be very disabled after 10 years.
Research into PD is active. For example, one main aim of research is to find medicines that prevent the damage to the affected cells, rather than just treating the symptoms, which is the main value of treatment at present. Further research on these chemicals continues. Research is underway using stem cell therapy to help treat PD. Other researchers are looking at alpha synuclein, a protein that gathers around the junction between nerve cells and is thought to affect the way messages are conducted between the brain and the nerves controlling movement.
Further reading and references
Expressing And Interpreting Emotion
PD rigidity can cause the muscles of the face to freeze. This leads to a mask-like expression. As a result, patients with PD have difficulty expressing emotion with their faces. They also can begin to have difficulty interpreting others facial expressions.
One study suggests that both men and women with PD can have difficulty interpreting anger and surprise, and that men are more likely to lose the ability to interpret fear.
However, women may be more upset by their inability to interpret emotions. All PD patients may benefit from speech and physical therapy to help with this symptom.
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Parkinsons Disease: Physical Psychological Symptoms With Some Spotted On The Face
Parkinson’s Disease is an illness in which brain parts become progressively impaired over the years. Someone who has this condition can suffer from an array of physical and psychological symptoms, some of which can be spotted on his face.
Daily Express;describes this disease as a “progressive condition” from which the nervous system and brain signals are disrupted.
This then can lead to several impairments, many of which are related to movement. The symptoms are frequently difficult to detect initially, yet they can become quite noticeable as the condition progresses.
There are three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These include experiencing stiff muscles, slow movement, and tremors.
Parkinson’s Before Age 50
When someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s before their 50th birthday, they have what’s called “early onset Parkinson’s disease.” Only about 5% to 10% of everyone with Parkinson’s has the early-onset form of the disease.
Only about 2% of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s are under the age of 40. However, it’s possible that doctors may overlook some people in that age group who actually have Parkinson’s;since it’s so unusual to have it so young.
A very few people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s before their 20th birthdays. In these cases, the condition is called “juvenile Parkinson’s disease,” and it tends to run in families. Researchers have identified several genes that are linked to Parkinson’s.
People with early-onset Parkinson’s disease are more likely to have genetic factors that caused their condition. In addition, certain treatments including exercise may be more likely to help younger people with Parkinson’s, because their brains are younger.
Stewart A Factor, DO and William J Weiner, MD. ;Parkinsons Disease: Diagnosis and Clinical Management: Second Edition Edited by 2008 Demos Medical Publishing.
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Who Develops Parkinson’s Disease
PD mainly develops in people over the age of 50. It becomes more common with increasing age. About 5 in 1,000 people in their 60s and about 40 in 1,000 people in their 80s have PD. It affects men and women but is a little more common in men. Rarely, it develops in people under the age of 50.
PD is not usually inherited and it can affect anyone. However, one type of PD, which appears in the small number of people who develop it before the age of 50, may be linked to inherited factors. Several family members may be affected.
Parkinson’s Symptoms Spotted On The Face
There are some other symptoms, too, that may develop because of problems with the manner affected brain cells and nerves are controlling muscles.
These other symptoms include an individual having lesser facial expressions like frowning or smiling, according to Patient Info. It may also be noticed that an individual has reduced blinking, the site also said.
According to an Eat This, Not That! report via;Yahoo! Life, another symptom is described as “masked face,” a person’s expression may appear “serious or even angry.”
The chief scientific officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation, James Beck, Ph.D. said, “masked face” is experienced even when one does not intend to feel it.
He added, for one who’s told he looks serious, mad, or depressed when he’s feeling fine, it is important that he ask his doctor about screening for Parkinson’s disease.
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Projected Estimates Of Parkinsons Disease With Aging Population
As the life expectancy has increased worldwide, it is expected that the burden of chronic diseases, like PD, will continue to grow. It is estimated that the number of people with PD in 2005 totaled between 4.1 million and 4.6 million and that number will more than double by 2030 to between 8.7 million and 9.3 million.7
Foster A Good Relationship
Lastly, maintaining your relationship and communication with the person with Parkinsonâs can be the most challenging and rewarding aspect of caregiving. As Parkinsonâs disease progresses, the roles change and the person with Parkinsonâs may go from being an independent head of the household to a very dependent person requiring a significant level of care. However, research shows that despite high levels of strain, caregivers with good quality relationships have reduced depression and better physical health. Remember, as a caregiver your service to your loved one is beyond measure in terms of love, depth of care, and concern.
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