Parkinson’s Dementia: Facts, Symptoms Treatment Options & More

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Parkinson's Dementia - Facts, Symptoms Treatment Options
Parkinson's Dementia - Facts, Symptoms Treatment Options

A disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors. Nerve cell damage in the brain causes dopamine levels to drop, leading to the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s Dementia – Important Information/Facts

When a person has Parkinson’s disease their nervous system becomes affected. A person will start to be slow in their movements. They will also be off balance when they are walking or when they are trying to get out of a sitting position. Their muscles will become more rigid, which will make it harder for to do their everyday chores. Having the shakes can also be a sign that a person may have Parkinson’s disease. About twenty percent of Parkinson’s patients end up with Parkinson’s Dementia along with these other symptoms of the disease.

Dementia in Parkinson Disease

Parkinson’s dementia has its own set of signs that are quite different from people who suffer form Parkinson disease without the dementia. If a person develops extremely severe problems with their motor control and they start to see things that are not there, they may be having the first signs of dementia. A person may go a very long time before they see the onset of this terrible feature of Parkinson. This disease should not be confused with Dementia with Lewy Bodies because with this disease a person starting to see things that are not there starts before their loss of motor control. It is vice versa from Parkinson’s dementia.

Other Causes of Dementia

If a person is showing signs of getting upset too easy, believing the wrong thing is true, and having trouble talking to others, Parkinson disease may not be causing the dementia. They may have something else wrong with them beside Parkinson’s disease. It is hard to determine with a person who has Parkinson’s disease whether it is the disease that is causing Parkinson’s dementia or if it could be something else that is causing the dementia within the person with Parkinson such as old age, Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid trouble, or the lack of vitamin B-12 in the body.

Memory Loss and Confusion

Persons with Parkinson’s dementia will show signs of memory problems. They may not remember what day it or if they have a doctor’s appointment. Finding where they have put something may be an overwhelming chore for someone with this type of dementia. A person who has dementia because of their Parkinson’s disease may also develop signs of confusion. They may believe that they live on a different street and go to the wrong address when traveling home from wherever they have been.

Moodiness and Withdrawal

Individuals who have been determined to have dementia that is brought on by Parkinson’s disease, will often times feel very moody and withdrawn. They may not want to get out of the house and do anything or they be extra cranky and want to be left alone. People with Parkinson’s dementia sometimes have a lack of motivation to get anything done. These people have no desire to do things such as clean their house, go to the grocery store to get groceries, or to even take a bath. Dementia patients cannot grasp what is going on with them so they do not make any changes.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Symptoms – Identify Them Early

There are a few common Parkinson’s symptoms that you need to be aware of. Just as with any disease some symptoms might inter-link with other diseases, so the only sure way to know that you have the disease is to contact your doctor and be tested. Keep in mind that Parkinson’s symptoms tend to occur on one side of the body and not on both sides at the same time, in the initial stages. Even though eventually you’ll experience issues on both sides of your body, the side that first experienced the symptoms usually tends to be the worse in the long-term.

7 Symptoms You Need To Be Aware of

  1. Muscle Stiffness: This can occur with any part of your body. The stiffness will limit your mobility and you are unable to perform simple tasks. Even walking becomes an issue as your legs are stiff and it’s difficult to move them. You may also experience issues moving your hands or doing simple tasks such as clapping, moving your fingers or swinging your arms.
  2. Shakiness: This is often called a tremor and is associated as one of many Parkinson’s symptoms and people usually associate any kind of tremor to Parkinson’s, but the fact is that not everyone with Parkinson’s disease experiences this as a symptom. Pill-rolling which is the rubbing of your thumb and forefinger is a common sign and is associated with tremors.
  3. Slow in movement: Another of the many Parkinson’s symptoms. The disease will definitely slow you down. It will restrict your movement, and you’ll have issues with walking, and you may in time start to do a shuffle walk instead of walking fluidly. You’ll have difficulty getting your feet off the ground, and your steps will be slow. In time you may have the need of a cane to get around or perhaps even a wheel chair. It depends on how advance the disease is at that point.
  4. Issues with posture: You’ll start to find that your posture may become a bit hunched over and you’ll have issues with your balance. This is common for those who have the disease, but it’s more common in the latter stages more so than the beginning. It’s one of the Parkinson’s symptoms that can really put a damper on an individual.
  5. Speech: It’s not uncommon to find people who have Parkinson’s disease to have slurred speech or their voice tone to change completely. Some people have more of a monotone voice while others speak softly or even more rapidly. It all depends and varies from case to case, but is a symptom.
  6. Reflexes: Simple acts that we do without thinking such as blinking and smiling tend to be drastically reduced in those that have Parkinson’s disease. One of the Parkinson’s symptoms may be a constant glare since no blinking is occurring. In some other cases you may appear overly animated when talking due to twitching or shakiness.
  7. Memory Loss: Another Parkinson’s symptom is potential memory loss. The person experiences issues remembering and explaining themselves in various situations.

These are just a few Parkinson’s symptoms that you need to be aware of. Of course some are based on those who have had the disease for an extended period of time, but others are based on the early stages such as the muscle stiffness and shakiness. If you think you’ve been experiencing such issues for an extended period of time be sure to visit your doctor for a check-up.

Parkinson’s Treatment Options

Parkinson’s Treatment – Options You Should Be Aware of

Parkinson’s disease is a horrible thing that attacks many humans today. This disease is incurable. It attacks nerve cells that affect every part of the body. People with Parkinson’s disease suffer from muscle spasm, tremors, and shakes. While there is no cure for these symptoms there are Parkinson’s treatment options available. Doctor’s may recommend physical therapy, surgery, drug therapy, or exercise as Parkinson’s treatment options. Consider the following options if you or someone you love suffers from this debilitating disease.

1. Parkinson’s Treatment – Physical Therapy

In the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease many doctors do not want to prescribe medications. Medications can lose their effect after several years of use. Therefore, doctors prefer to prescribe natural treatments such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or exercise. In many cases these Parkinson’s treatment options will prolong the onset of the disease. Stretches and exercises can often help muscles from become stiff and having spasms. These treatments help prolong mobility and movement.

2. Parkinson’s Treatment – Drug Therapy

As Parkinson’s disease progresses there are drugs that can help with muscle spasms, constipation, and pain that is associated with the disease. In most cases doctors will start a patient on the lowest dose possible and the fewest drugs. This will allow for increases and additions as the disease progresses. There are also experimental drug therapies that are available. Your participation in these clinical trials will depend on the stage of your disease and your doctor’s recommendation. The most common drug used to treat Parkinson’s is Levodopa. This drug can provide relief for many years. However, after five years some people experience complications such as uncontrollable movement.

3. Changes in Lifestyle

Many people find that a change in lifestyle can help with the pain associated with Parkinson’s. Slow down and limit the stress on your body. Changes in diet have also proven very effective. Man people need a high fiber diet balanced with many fruits and vegetables. There are also activities that you can perform differently. For example, if you take small bites, eat moist foods, and avoid hard or crunchy foods you will have fewer problems with digestion. Avoiding sugar has also shown to reduce the amount of drooling that occurs.

4. Surgery Options

Surgery is a last option for most doctors to consider. While this Parkinson’s treatment may provide relief for some patients it may not work for others. Deep brain stimulation is one option for patients that have severe Parkinson’s disease. In some people the surgery provides long term relief while other people experience no effect at all.

As you can see there are many Parkinson’s treatment options available. Your doctor can help you along each stage of the disease to choose which option is right for you based on your behavior. Those with an early diagnosis of Parkinson’s can complete small steps that may lessen the severity of Parkinson’s in the long run. Only your doctor can tell you which option is best. However, following his or her advice will provide relief that you need. These four options are just the beginning in treatment options.

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