The Plus Side Of An Early Diagnosis
The news is not nearly all bad for those with young-onset Parkinsons. For one thing, patients with YOPD are better candidates for surgical procedures and medical innovations being used or developed to treat Parkinsons disease. For another, younger patients are less likely to be coping with other health problems at the same time.
Targeting Parkinsons-Linked Protein Could Neutralize 2 of the Diseases Causes
Researchers report they have discovered how two problem proteins known to cause Parkinsons disease are chemically linked, suggesting that someday, both could be neutralized by a single drug designed to target the link.
Managing Medication Side Effects
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration-induced headaches and muscle tension.
- Drink green tea, bone broth, or ginger tea to boost your immune system.
- Drink alcohol or coffee or any other caffeinated beverages to avoid having sleep issues.
Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can help you manage the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. Follow these tips to relieve symptoms and have a better quality of life.
Consult your doctor to know what other foods you can consume to help you manage Parkinsons.
What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors or trembling difficulty maintaining balance and coordination trouble standing or walking stiffness and general slowness.
Over time, a person with Parkinson’s may have trouble smiling, talking, or swallowing. Their faces may appear flat and without expression, but people with Parkinson’s continue to have feelings even though their faces don’t always show it. Sometimes people with the disease can have trouble with thinking and remembering too.
Because of problems with balance, some people with Parkinson’s fall down a lot, which can result in broken bones. Some people with Parkinson’s may also feel sad or depressed and lose interest in the things they used to do.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear gradually and get worse over time. But because Parkinson’s disease usually develops slowly, most people who have it can live a long and relatively healthy life.
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Some General Notes On Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder. That means that it adversely affects your brain.
Specifically, Parkinsons disease impairs your brains ability to produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine affects everything from movement and balance to concentration and mood.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinsons disease at this time. Thus, it makes sense that Parkinsons disease qualifies as a disability in the eyes of the federal government.
The Department of Veterans Affairs , the Social Security Administration , and the U.S. Department of Labor all consider Parkinsons disease a covered disability under their respective programs.
Symptoms Of Essential Tremor
The symptoms of essential tremor include:
- affects the voluntary muscles
- head nodding, if the head is affected
- shaky, quivering voice, if the larynx is affected
- a small, rapid tremor
- tremor that is exacerbated by activity or movement
- tremor that eases when the body part is at rest
- tremor that stops when the person is asleep
- worsening with age
- hands, head and voice are most commonly affected
- other body parts may become affected over time, including the arms and eyelids .
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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.
What Dopamine Deficiency Means
There is no reliable way to measure dopamine levels in the brain.
What is known is that certain clusters of symptoms are linked to abnormal dopamine activity.
So whenever you see the phrases low dopamine or dopamine deficiency, know that these terms mean that one or more of the following is taking place:
- Too little dopamine is being made.
- There are too few dopamine receptors or the receptors arent working as well as they should.
- Dopamine is being broken down too soon or not being appropriately recirculated.
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Stem Cell Study Finds Malfunctioning Brain Cells In Patients Who Were Diagnosed Before Age 50 Researchers Test Potential New Treatment
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
- People who develop Parkinson’s disease before age 50 may have been born with disordered brain cells that went undetected for decades, according to new research. The research points to a drug that potentially might help correct these disease processes.
People who develop Parkinson’s disease before age 50 may have been born with disordered brain cells that went undetected for decades, according to new Cedars-Sinai research. The research points to a drug that potentially might help correct these disease processes.
Parkinson’s occurs when brain neurons that make dopamine, a substance that helps coordinate muscle movement, become impaired or die. Symptoms, which get worse over time, include slowness of movement, rigid muscles, tremors and loss of balance. In most cases, the exact cause of neuron failure is unclear, and there is no known cure.
At least 500,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, and the incidence is rising. Although most patients are 60 or older when they are diagnosed, about 10% are between 21 and 50 years old. The new study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, focuses on these young-onset patients.
The researchers detected two key abnormalities in the dopamine neurons in the dish:
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Low Dopamine: An Unexpected Cause Of Depression
No one knows for sure what causes depression, but the most popular theory is that its due to a lack of the mood-elevating brain chemical serotonin.
But theres a growing body of evidence that dopamine deficiency may be the underlying cause of depression in many cases.
This could explain why selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , antidepressants that work by increasing serotonin, work for only 40% of those who use them.
The idea that depression is caused by low dopamine is not new.
One study published nearly 30 years ago states that dopamine has wrongly been ignored as a cause of depression and that theres a large body of evidence that antidepressants that target dopamine can be effective for treating depression.
More than fifteen years ago, Harvard Medical School researchers discovered that dopamine dysregulation is implicated in depression.
Clinical trials have found that people with depression have lower levels of a major metabolite of dopamine in their central nervous system.
Theres some evidence that SSRI antidepressants work by indirectly affecting dopamine levels.
And lastly, some antidepressants, like Wellbutrin, are known to work by increasing dopamine.
Wellbutrin belongs to a class of antidepressants, the norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors, which are sometimes prescribed when SSRIs dont help.
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Is There A Cure For Parkinsons
Theres currently no cure for Parkinsons, a disease that is chronic and worsens over time. More than 50,000 new cases are reported in the United States each year. But there may be even more, since Parkinsons is often misdiagnosed.
Its reported that Parkinsons complications was the
Complications from Parkinsons can greatly reduce quality of life and prognosis. For example, individuals with Parkinsons can experience dangerous falls, as well as blood clots in the lungs and legs. These complications can be fatal.
Proper treatment improves your prognosis, and it increases life expectancy.
It may not be possible to slow the progression of Parkinsons, but you can work to overcome the obstacles and complications to have a better quality of life for as long as possible.
Parkinsons disease is not fatal. However, Parkinsons-related complications can shorten the lifespan of people diagnosed with the disease.
Having Parkinsons increases a persons risk for potentially life threatening complications, like experiencing:
Parkinsons often causes problems with daily activities. But very simple exercises and stretches may help you move around and walk more safely.
When Getting Dressed
- Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready. Avoid rushing.
- Select clothes that are easy to put on and take off.
- Try using items with Velcro instead of buttons.
- Try wearing pants and skirts with elastic waist bands. These may be easier than buttons and zippers.
Yoga uses targeted muscle movement to build muscle, increase mobility, and improve flexibility. People with Parkinsons may notice yoga even helps manage tremors in some affected limbs. Try these 10 yoga poses to help ease symptoms of Parkinsons.
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What Else Do We Know
As scientists try to learn what’s at the root of Parkinson’s, they’re looking far and wide to pick up clues where they can.
They’ve found that people with Parkinson’s tend to have something called Lewy bodies in their brain. These are unusual clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein. The protein itself is normal, but the clumps are not. And they’re found in parts of the brain that affect sleep and sense of smell, which could explain some symptoms of Parkinson’s not related to movement.
Your gut may also have a part in it, as some of its cells make dopamine, too. Some doctors think that this might be where the earliest signs of Parkinson’s show up, but that idea needs more research.
Can Parkinsons Be Passed From Parent To Child
Its rare for Parkinsons disease to be passed down from parent to child. Most cases of Parkinsons arent hereditary. But people who get early-onset Parkinsons disease are more likely to have inherited it.
Having a family history of Parkinsons disease may increase the risk that youll get it. This means that having a parent or sibling with Parkinsons slightly increases the risk.
In most cases, the cause of Parkinsons disease remains unknown. But researchers have identified multiple risk factors that can increase your chances of getting this disease.
Risk factors for Parkinsons disease include:
- mutations in specific genes associated with Parkinsons
- having a family history of Parkinsons or a first-degree family member with Parkinsons
- being older, especially above the age of 60
- exposure to herbicides and pesticides
- being assigned male at birth
- history of brain injury
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Adhd And Dopamine Deficiency
The underlying cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is still unknown.
But it is widely accepted that the root cause of ADHD is likely an abnormality in dopamine function.
This seems logical since dopamine is critical for maintaining focus.
Most ADHD medications are based on the dopamine deficiency theory.
Prescription medications used to treat ADHD are believed to work by increasing the release of dopamine and norepinephrine while slowing down their rate of reabsorption.
What Are Some Of The Lingering Unknowns About Pregnancy And Parkinsons
The one question whose answer is not in doubt is whether more research needs to be done into this area. Like most womens health issues in Parkinsons, there are few certainties. It may not be a challenge that many people with Parkinsons face, but it is an important life event that physicians should be prepared to manage and educate their patients about.
Just as Parkinsons affects us all differently, each of our experiences during pregnancy while living with YOPD will be unique. What should you do if you are planning to or are pregnant following a diagnosis of Parkinsons? Follow your physicians guidance and recommendations, minimize your exposure to environmental toxins, eat healthy foods, keep active, and weigh the risks and benefits of taking medications with your medical team.
As I look at my three beautiful daughters now, I reminisce about the months I spent preparing for their arrival, the early days of blissful exhaustion that new babes bring, the joys, the fears but mostly Im filled with gratitude. Gratitude that despite the challenges Parkinsons has brought my way, my children are healthy, and my heart is full.
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A Monkey Model Was Born From A Drug Gone Bad
Parkinson’s gradually kills or disables cells that make dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with both movement and feelings of pleasure, reward and joy.
The drug L-DOPA can replace dopamine. But its effect tends to wane over time and higher doses can produce side effects, like involuntary movements. Deep brain stimulation can also reduce symptoms such as tremor, but it requires surgery and carries risks.
So scientists have been searching for ways to improve treatments by studying monkeys, whose brains control movement much the way human brains do.
That research is possible because of something tragic that happened in Northern California, says Rob Turner, whose lab at the University of Pittsburgh studies the brain circuits that allow skillful movement.
In the early 1980s, people who were using a form of heroin began showing up at hospitals with symptoms that looked strikingly similar to Parkinson’s.
“One of the local neurologists, Bill Langston, did the detective work and he discovered that someone had botched a batch of synthetic opioids and made a neurotoxin instead,” Turner says.
This neurotoxin attacks the same brain cells involved in Parkinson’s disease. A little toxin kills a few cells, a lot kills many more making it possible to mimic the stages of Parkinson’s. That discovery allowed scientists to learn a lot about how the disease damages a human brain, Turner says.
Va Disability Rating For Parkinsons Disease Overview
If you are a veteran who develops Parkinsons disease, you might find yourself curious as to how Parkinsons disease can affect VA disability benefits.
Generally speaking, VA benefits are a form of tax-free, monthly compensation that the VA pays to veterans who suffer from disabilities related to their military service.
To determine how much compensation an individual veteran gets, the VA gives them a disability rating. Additional disabilities, like Parkinsons disease, can affect your disability rating.
Parkinsons disease is one of the many disabilities recognized by the VA.
Regardless of whether you are already receiving VA disability benefits, as a veteran developing Parkinsons, it helps to have some general knowledge about how Parkinsons disease can affect those benefits.
Many veterans depend on disability benefits. For those veterans, it is absolutely crucial to understand what changes they can expect from the VA regarding Parkinsons disease.
You may have questions like, Is Parkinsons disease a 100% compensation disability? Or, What factors can impact my Parkinsons disease disability rating?
If you have these kinds of questions about VA disability benefits and their interaction with Parkinsons disease, dont hesitate to give us a call at Gerling Law Injury Attorneys.
Our VA disability benefits team is always happy to answer your questions and set you in the right direction.
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Cause Of Essential Tremor
Essential tremor is the most common type of tremor, and affects more people than Parkinsons disease. Some estimates suggest that around 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 years is affected.
There is no known cause, but a genetic link is strongly suspected. Each child of a person with essential tremor has a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder themselves. If a person with essential tremor has other affected family members, then the disorder is called familial tremor.
What Role Do Genes Play
Your genes are like your body’s instruction book. So if you get a change in one of them, it can make your body work in a slightly different way. Sometimes, that means you’re more likely to get a certain disease.
There are several genetic mutations that can raise your risk for Parkinson’s, each by a little bit. They have a part in about 1 in 10 cases.
If you have one or more of these changes, it doesn’t mean you’ll get Parkinson’s. Some people will, but many won’t, and doctors don’t know why. It may have to do with other genes or something in your environment.
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A Treatment That’s All In Your Head
Strick believes the placebo effect deserves more respect than it often gets.
“I love it when people say it’s all in your head, because your brain is in your head,” he says. “There are real biological underpinnings for these kinds of things.”
So Strick has assembled a team of prominent scientists to find the biological underpinnings of paradoxical kinesia. The team hopes what they learn will lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, which affects nearly 1 million people in the U.S.
The effort involves several labs at the University of Pittsburgh and one at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It’s being funded by a $12 million grant from the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s Initiative and implemented by the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Strick’s collaborators plan to focus on two circuits in the brain that appear to control voluntary movement. One is damaged by Parkinson’s, leading to symptoms including tremor, freezing, and poor balance and coordination.
“Our hypothesis is that there’s another circuit that’s intact, and that this circuit isn’t affected in Parkinson’s disease,” Strick says.
Strick’s team believes this other circuit can be switched on by strong emotions, including positive ones.
“It’s engaged by our sense of reward, by the joy of doing something,” he says.