Whats The Difference Between Dementia With Lewy Bodies And Parkinsons
In dementia with Lewy bodies, dementia always appears first. There can also be changes in alertness as well as visual hallucinations. However, because of the presence of Lewy bodies throughout the entire brain, characteristics of this disease not only include cognitive characteristics, but also physical, sleep, and behavioral changes. As the disease progresses, the motor symptoms common to Parkinsons such as tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems will appear.
For more information on dementia with Lewy bodies, visit www.lbda.org.
Tremors Are Just One Of Many Symptoms That May Indicate Parkinson’s Disease
In addition to tremors, there are several other symptoms to look out for if you suspect PD. According to the Mayo Clinic, many patients experience slowed movement, rigid muscles, impaired balance, poor posture, and a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, like swinging your arms while you walk. Additionally, PD patients often notice changes to their speech, including speaking more softly, speaking in monotone, developing a slur, or hesitating before speaking. Finally, some people with Parkinson’s find that their handwriting changesit may become increasingly difficult to write, and your handwriting may become smaller over time.
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Whats The Difference Between Corticobasal Degeneration And Parkinsons
The main difference between CBD and Parkinsons is that it usually starts on one side with the gradual loss of use of one hand or leg , and there may be little flicks of involuntary muscle jerks. Walking and balance difficulties usually occur later in CBD than in Parkinsons. Also, in CBD, a person may have trouble with purposeful movements, such as buttoning a shirt or cutting food.
For more information on corticobasal degeneration, read this information page.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a nervous system disease that affects your ability to control movement. The disease usually starts out slowly and worsens over time. If you have Parkinsons disease, you may shake, have muscle stiffness, and have trouble walking and maintaining your balance and coordination. As the disease worsens, you may have trouble talking, sleeping, have mental and memory problems, experience behavioral changes and have other symptoms.
Pd Tremors Only Occur When You’re At Rest
Not all tremors are due to Parkinson’smany have other underlying causes. One way to help distinguish between a PD tremor and something else is that those associated with Parkinson’s are “resting tremors”meaning they only occur when that body part is otherwise inactive.
“The tremor appears as a shaking movement when the muscles are relaxed and not being focused on taking action,” explains the APDA. If your tremor continues despite intentional movement of that body part, there’s likely another explanation. For this reason, many PD patients with a jaw, mouth, or tongue tremor manage this symptom by chewing gum throughout the day.
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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
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How Is Parkinsons Diagnosed
Doctors use your medical history and physical examination to diagnose Parkinson’s disease . No blood test, brain scan or other test can be used to make a definitive diagnosis of PD.
Researchers believe that in most people, Parkinson’s is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Certain environmental exposures, such as pesticides and head injury, are associated with an increased risk of PD. Still, most people have no clear exposure that doctors can point to as a straightforward cause. The same goes for genetics. Certain genetic mutations are linked to an increased risk of PD. But in the vast majority of people, Parkinsons is not directly related to a single genetic mutation. Learning more about the genetics of Parkinsons is one of our best chances to understand more about the disease and discover how to slow or stop its progression.
Aging is the greatest risk factor for Parkinsons, and the average age at diagnosis is 60. Still, some people get PD at 40 or younger.
Men are diagnosed with Parkinsons at a higher rate than women and whites more than other races. Researchers are studying these disparities to understand more about the disease and health care access and to improve inclusivity across care and research.
Aging is the greatest risk factor for Parkinsons, and the average age at diagnosis is 60. Still, some people get PD at 40 or younger.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation has made finding a test for Parkinsons disease one of our top priorities.
In The Loop: Staying Ahead Of Parkinsons Disease One Ping Pong Game At A Time
Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Steve Grinnell has worked hard to stay active, stepping up his table tennis game and, thanks to co-workers, testing his skills outside his home.
Four years ago, Steve Grinnell’s life was forever changed when doctors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester diagnosed him with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Since that time, the progressive nervous system disorder has begun to take a toll on Steve and his family, just as it does on the millions of other Americans living with the disease. “It has greatly diminished his quality of life, leaving him with tremors, physical exhaustion, impaired balance, troubled grasping things with his right hand, slow right-arm movement and problems sleeping,” the Rochester Post-Bulletin recently reported. “That’s to name just a few of his symptoms.”
Reading that, one might assume the disorder is winning. And to Steve, sometimes it feels like it is. But much of the time, he tells us he also feels like he’s staying one step ahead of the disease by staying as physically active as possible. “Parkinson’s presents such a conundrum because it wears you down physically, and yet exercise is so valuable,” Steve says. “My legs, feet and right arm are always cramping, so it takes mental effort to get moving.”
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How Do I Prevent Falls From Common Hazards
- Floors: Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
- Bathroom: Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower. Use non-skid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Lighting: Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway and staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
- Kitchen: Install non-skid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
- Stairs: Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it might be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times you must climb the stairs.
- Entrances and doorways: Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to the doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.
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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Visions Of The Future
Alzheimers and Parkinsons cause sweeping changes to the landscape of the brain before there are any behavioral shifts blood vessels atrophy, neurons die prematurely and snarls of misfolded proteins disrupt communication between surviving neurons. Current techniques for detecting these shifts, including PET imaging at $3,000 to $6,000, can identify Parkinsons and Alzheimers pathology in the brain before symptoms begin, but theyre too invasive and costly for widespread use. But identifying parallel changes in the retina is a different story.
Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, a neuroscientist and professor of neurosurgery, studies early Alzheimers intervention and treatment at Cedars-Sinai. She and her team have pioneered a technique to visualize the plaques associated with Alzheimers in the retinal neurons of live patients with mild cognitive impairments, at a cost of about $285 a scan. All it requires is modified ophthalmological equipment and a lot of curry flavoring.
If Koronyo-Hamaouis imaging system seems low-tech to neuroscientists accustomed to PETs radioactive tracers and million-dollar scanners, Ruogu Fangs technique for Parkinsons screening is downright stone age.
Initial results suggest that computer algorithms are able to use these fundus images to distinguish Parkinsons patients from healthy controls with an accuracy upward of 70 percent.
What Are The Symptoms Of Atypical Parkinsonian Disorders
Like classic Parkinsons disease, atypical Parkinsonian disorders cause muscle stiffness, tremor, and problems with walking/balance and fine motor coordination.
Patients with atypical Parkinsonism often have some degree of difficulty speaking or swallowing, and drooling can be a problem. Psychiatric disturbances such as agitation, anxiety or depression may also be part of the clinical picture.
Dementia with Lewy bodies can cause changes in attention or alertness over hours or days, often with long periods of sleep during the day. Visual hallucinations typically of small animals or children, or moving shadows in the periphery of the visual field are common in DLB. DLB is second only to Alzheimers disease as a cause of dementia in the elderly, and it most commonly affects patients in their 60s.
Patients with progressive supranuclear palsy may have difficulties with eye movements, particularly when looking downward, and with balance when descending stairs, for instance. Backward falls are common and may occur during the early course of the disease. PSP is not usually associated with tremor, unlike Parkinsons disease.
Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center
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If Your Tremor Persists When You Move Essential Tremor May Be To Blame
If the tremor persists despite intentional movement, the most likely culprit is Essential Tremor . Like PD, this condition can cause rhythmic shaking in any part of the body, and is sometimes misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s.
“It may be difficult to figure out if a jaw tremor is from Essential Tremor or Parkinson’s,” explains the APDA. “Unfortunately, some people may have both disorders,” the organization adds, noting that some researchers have found “an association between the two conditions, so that more people with Parkinson’s disease have Essential Tremor than would be expected by chance alone.” However, more research is needed to fully understand the connection between the two conditions.
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What To Expect From Your Doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Do you have symptoms all the time or do they come and go?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to make your symptoms worse?
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Our Eyes May Provide Early Warning Signs Of Alzheimers And Parkinsons
Forget the soul it turns out the eyes may be the best window to the brain. Changes to the retina may foreshadow Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases, and researchers say a picture of your eye could assess your future risk of neurodegenerative disease.
Pinched off from the brain during embryonic development, the retina contains layers of neurons that seem to experience neurodegenerative disease along with their cousins inside the skull. The key difference is that these retinal neurons, right against the jellylike vitreous of the eyeball, live and die where scientists can see them.
Early detection is sort of the holy grail, said Ron Petersen, director of Mayo Clinics Alzheimers Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. By the time a patient complains of memory problems or tremors, the machinery of neurodegenerative disease has been at work probably for years or decades.
Experts liken it to a cancer that only manifests symptoms at Stage 3 or 4. When patients begin to feel neurodegenerative diseases impact on their daily life, its almost too late for treatment.
Catching the warning signs of neurodegenerative disease earlier could give patients more time to plan for the future whether thats making caregiving arrangements, spending more time with family or writing the Great American novel.
A Chance To Be Vigilant
Identifying any of these biomarkers in the retina doesnt mean a patient will develop full-blown Alzheimers or Parkinsons within their lifetime, Petersen said. Such information should be considered a warning sign like high blood sugar levels that prompts both doctor and patient to be vigilant for other changes.
Its also an opportunity for the patient to be proactive about preventive measures that may slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as exercise and improved diet. Exercise is the only thing Ive seen that really helps with Alzheimers and Parkinsons, said Laura Volpicelli-Daley, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She added that she hopes biomarkers that show a patient their personal risk will make reasons to change their habits tangible and urgent.
Its like with 23andMe, Fekrat points out, referring to the popular DNA test that identifies genes associated with an elevated likelihood of developing a disease or condition. When people know their risk, they say, Oh, I have the gene for macular degeneration. Im not going to smoke.
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Whats The Difference Between Progressive Supranuclear Palsy And Parkinsons
People with PSP generally progress more rapidly than people with Parkinsons. A person with Parkinsons tends to lean forward while a person with PSP tends to lean backward. Tremors are common in people with Parkinsons and rare in people with PSP. Speech and swallowing abnormalities are more severe and show up sooner in those living with PSP.
Stiffness And Slow Movement
Parkinsons disease mainly affects adults older than 60. You may feel stiff and a little slow to get going in the morning at this stage of your life. This is a completely normal development in many healthy people. The difference with PD is that the stiffness and slowness it causes dont go away as you get up and start your day.
Stiffness of the limbs and slow movement appear early on with PD. These symptoms are caused by the impairment of the neurons that control movement. A person with PD will notice jerkier motions and move in a more uncoordinated pattern than before. Eventually, a person may develop the characteristic shuffling gait.
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You May Also Experience Tremors In Other Parts Of The Body
Tremors are one of the most common PD symptoms, and besides the hands and fingers, “it can also appear in other parts of the body, including the lower lip, jaw or leg,” according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. These tremors can impair motor coordination and make everyday activities, such as dressing, shaving, and eating, a challenge for PD patients. However, there’s one silver lining for those who suffer from the symptom: “People with resting tremor usually have a more slowly progressing course of illness than people without tremor,” the Parkinson’s Foundation explains.
Parkinson’s tremors typically affect just one side of the body, especially early in the course of the disease. However, over time, both sides may become affected.