How I Reversed My Parkinsons Disease Symptoms
Being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease is a life-altering event. Youre presented with all these drugs to take to help ward off the unpleasant symptoms but these drugs cause unwanted side effects.
Its not a no-win situation. You can manage and possibly reverse Parkinsons disease and live a full life.
Its time to find out what you can do to help your body deal with this disease naturally and effectively. Just keep reading.
No One Definitive Cause Of Parkinsons
There are no biomarkers or objective screening tests that indicate one has Parkinsons. That said, medical experts have shown that a constellation of factors are linked to it.
Parkinsons causes are likely a blend of genetics and environmental or other unknown factors. About 10 to 20 percent of Parkinsons disease cases are linked to a genetic cause, says Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute for Cell Engineering at Johns Hopkins. The types are either autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive .
But that leaves the majority of Parkinsons cases as idiopathic, which means unknown. We think its probably a combination of environmental exposure to toxins or pesticides and your genetic makeup, says Dawson.
Age. The biggest risk factor for developing Parkinsons is advancing age. The average age of onset is 60.
Gender. Men are more likely to develop Parkinsons disease than women.
Genetics. Individuals with a parent or sibling who is affected have approximately two times the chance of developing Parkinsons. Theres been an enormous amount of new information about genetics and new genes identified over the past 10 or 15 years that have opened up a greater understanding of the disease, says Dawson.
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.
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Signs It Might Be Multiple System Atrophy Instead Of Parkinsons Disease
Here are some clues as to whether it is multiple system atrophy or Parkinsons disease. One of the easier distinctions is between PD and MSA-C .If the patient presents with unsteadiness while walking, uncoordinated arms and legs, bladder disturbance and/or dizziness when standing the diagnosis is more likely to be MSA-C. On the other hand, if a person looks Parkinsonian the distinction can be harder, but there are clues:
- In the earlier stages of MSA-P , which is often when people have just been told they have Parkinsons disease, some patients will fall often.Frequent falls also occur in Parkinsons disease, but it typically occurs 10-15 years after diagnosis.
- In patients with MSA the classic Parkinsons drug L-Dopa may work initially but will stop working very quickly.It can continue working in PD patients for many years.
- Dementia is not associated with MSA however, it does occur in patients with lewy body Parkinsons disease.
- Early autonomic nervous system symptoms such as low blood pressure when standing and issues with the bladder are often signs of possible MSA in patients diagnosed with Parkinsons.
- Vocal cord issues are less common but very typical in MSA and much less common in PD.Some examples include difficulty getting words out, odd sighs and even falling asleep during a conversation.
Whats The Difference Between Multiple System Atrophy And Parkinsons
Parkinsons and MSA both affect the movement control system and the involuntary autonomic control system and early symptoms can make a differential diagnosis a challenge. MSA, however, tends to progress faster than Parkinsons balance problems and a stooped posture happen earlier and get worse more quickly with MSA and autonomic functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, sweating, bladder function, and sexual problems are more severe in people with MSA.
For more information on multiple symptom atrophy, read this fact sheet.
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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.
Treatment: Boosting Dopamines Effects
Your doctor might give you one of these, alone or with another drug:
- Dopamine agonists: They act like dopamine but donât raise levels of it in your brain. You can take them with any drug that has levodopa. You might try pramipexole or ropinirole .
- COMT Inhibitors: They help levodopa last longer. You might get entacapone or tolcapone .
- MAO-B inhibitors: These stop your brain from breaking down levodopa. You could get selegiline or rasagiline .
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What Are The Primary Motor Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
There are four primary motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease: tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability . Observing two or more of these symptoms is the main way that physicians diagnose Parkinsons.
It is important to know that not all of these symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease to be considered. In fact, younger people may only notice one or two of these motor symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease. Not everyone with Parkinsons disease has a tremor, nor is a tremor proof of Parkinsons. If you suspect Parkinsons, see a neurologist or movement disorders specialist.
Walking or Gait Difficulties
You Have Body And Muscle Aches
An achy body and muscles can signify you are battling COVID-19. However, Dr. Cook says there are many other causes of body aches including dehydration, lack of sleep, and the regular flu. “We also see these symptoms in certain chronic viral infections including Epstein Barr as well as Lyme disease,” he adds.
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Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited
Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.
There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.
Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.
Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.
A High Baseline Stress Proxy Score Predicts Worsening Mobility On Follow
BOSTONStress may be a modifiable risk factor for Parkinsons disease progression, according to research presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. In a study of more than 4,000 patients, a stress proxy score predicted mortality and was associated with worsening mobility. The findings suggest that stress reduction may be an effective intervention in Parkinsons disease, said Amie Hiller, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
Amie Hiller, MD
Potentially, stress reduction is something we could think about to slow Parkinsons disease progression, said Dr. Hiller. Our goal is to not only treat symptoms of Parkinsons disease, but to slow progression of the disease.
Research suggests that stressful life events may increase the risk of Parkinsons disease. In addition, animal studies indicate that stress damages dopamine cells, resulting in more severe parkinsonian symptoms. In humans, acute stress can worsen motor symptoms, including bradykinesia, freezing, and tremor.
To examine the relationship between psychological stress and Parkinsons disease progression, Dr. Hiller and colleagues analyzed data from the National Parkinsons Foundation Quality Improvement Initiative. All 4,155 participants in the study were able to walk unassisted at baseline.
Researchers also calculated patients levels of excess stress .
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How Are They Alike
These diseases both affect your nerves. MS can break down the coating, called myelin, that surrounds and protects your nerves. In Parkinsonâs, nerve cells in a part of your brain slowly die off.
Both can start out with mild symptoms, but they get worse over time.
Common symptoms of both diseases include:
- Shaky fingers, hands, lips, or limbs
- Slurred speech thatâs hard for others to understand
- Numb or weak limbs that make your walk unsteady
- Loss of muscle control that often affects one side of your body at first, then later both
- Spastic limb movements that are hard to control
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Poor balance
Depression is another symptom common to both conditions.
Is It Parkinsons Or Something Else Blood Test Might Tell
Measuring a particular blood protein might help doctors easily distinguish Parkinsons disease from some similar disorders, a new study suggests.
The potential blood test is not ready for prime time, Parkinsons disease experts said. But, it marks progress in the quest for an objective way to diagnose Parkinsons and similar conditions known as atypical parkinsonian disorders, they noted.
Parkinsons disease is a movement disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States alone, according to the Parkinsons Disease Foundation.
The root cause is unclear, but as the disease progresses, the brain loses cells that produce dopamine a chemical that regulates movement. As a result, people suffer symptoms such as tremors, stiff limbs, and balance and coordination problems that gradually worsen over time.
Right now, there is no blood test, brain scan or other objective measure that can definitively diagnose Parkinsons, said James Beck, vice president of scientific affairs for the Parkinsons Disease Foundation.
In general, Parkinsons disease is diagnosed with a clinical exam, Beck explained.
The best person to make that call is a neurologist with expertise in movement disorders, according to Beck.
But, he said, even highly trained doctors initially get it wrong about 10 percent of the time.
In the earlier stages, Beck said, Parkinsons symptoms can be very similar to those of atypical parkinsonian disorders, or APDs.
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Tom Thought That Because Some Pink Tablets Relieved His Symptoms This Meant He Was Ok He Didn’t
I first suspected there was something wrong when I was travelling and I was writing a postcard to a friend of mine in, in Australia whose name is Anthony Diecopolis. And, and I got to the Anthony Diec and I couldnt finish the opolis. And its very strange my hand had sort of gone into a sort of spasm and it just wouldnt, wouldnt finish writing the, the, the word. And so thats a bit strange.
And so I went when, when I got I, I went to the doctor and said, What on earths going on? And I had since then Id also developed this slight tremor in my right hand. He said, Well its probably, Essential Tremor or trapped nerve or something like that. And anyway, then it got a bit worse and then I was, I was recommended to go to a neurologist. And the neurologist had a look at me and gave me some pills. And he said, Come back and tell me if these work.
This is about, about sort of, nine months after my, my not being able to finish the, the postcard. And, and he said, Take these pills. And the pills worked. Magically the tremors stopped and I thought this is wonderful. And so I went back to the neurologist and I said, Yes everythings fine now. The pills have, the pills have worked. And far from looking happy about this he looked rather, rather grave and he said, I think youd better go to another neurologist.
Take Care Of Yourself
Probably one of the most important, and sometimes difficult, things caregivers can do is to take care of themselves. This includes maintaining mental and physical health by making and keeping your own medical and dental appointments. As a caregiver, it is important to keep your job whenever possible as it provides not only financial help and possibly insurance coverage, but also a sense of self-esteem. Join a support group for caregivers if possible. Support groups help you meet people who are going through what you are going though, vent frustrations, give and receive mutual support, and exchange resource information and coping strategies. Whenever possible get your sleep, take breaks, make and keep social activities, and try to keep your sense of humor.
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What Causes Parkinson Disease
Parkinson disease arises from decreased dopamine production in the brain. The absence of dopamine makes it hard for the brain to coordinate muscle movements. Low dopamine also contributes to mood and cognitive problems later in the course of the disease. Experts dont know what triggers the development of Parkinson disease most of the time. Early onset Parkinson disease is often inherited and is the result of certain gene defects.
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What Causes Parkinson’s Disease
In the very deep parts of the brain, there is a collection of nerve cells that help control movement, known as the basal ganglia . In a person with Parkinson’s disease, these nerve cells are damaged and do not work as well as they should.
These nerve cells make and use a brain chemical called dopamine to send messages to other parts of the brain to coordinate body movements. When someone has Parkinson’s disease, dopamine levels are low. So, the body doesn’t get the right messages it needs to move normally.
Experts agree that low dopamine levels in the brain cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but no one really knows why the nerve cells that produce dopamine get damaged and die.
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New Diagnostic Standards For Parkinsons
Until recently, the gold-standard checklist for diagnosis came from the U.K.s Parkinsons Disease Society Brain Bank. It was a checklist that doctors followed to determine if the symptoms they saw fit the disease. But thats now considered outdated. Recently, new criteria from the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society have come into use. This list reflects the most current understanding of the condition. It allows doctors to reach a more accurate diagnosis so patients can begin treatment at earlier stages.
Recently Fred Has Found His Eyes Are Closed Involuntarily Most Of The Time Though If He Makes An
You dont think, Oh, it would be nice to have my eyes closed now?
The mask that is the expressionless face, typical of many people with Parkinsons, probably distresses the people who have to live with it more than it embarrasses the person who has it. It tends to be the position the face falls into when not actively doing something else. Lack of facial expression can be hard for the family.
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Symptoms That Are Commonly Associated With Pd
These symptoms include sleep disorders, abnormalities in blood pressure, urinary problems, constipation, depression, and anxiety. Even though these symptoms are so commonly seen in PD, they are also commonly associated with other issues that have nothing to do with PD, so it is vital to keep an open mind about their cause. If any symptom is new or worsening, it could be an indication of a new medical problem. For example, urinary problems are extremely common in PD, but may be a sign of an enlarged prostate, which can be treated in an entirely different way.