Talk With An Attorney
You should discuss these possible options with an elder law attorney as soon as possible to find the best combination of sources that will work for your family situation. Medicaid in particular can be a crucial element to affording nursing home care for your parent with Parkinsons disease, but there are several potential stumbling blocks that may require legal assistance.
Medicaid utilizes a five-year lookback period you may not have planned for that looks at your parents assets and finances in the past. Financial decisions they made years ago may prevent Medicaid coverage now when they need it most. Thats where an elder law attorney becomes critical, as there are ways to reverse gifts and other financial moves that can impact your parents Medicaid coverage. An attorney may also be needed to grant you power of attorney if the disease has progressed to the point that your parent can no longer make their wishes known.
Planning ahead is the best option to deal with the financial burden of serious medical issues like Parkinsons disease. For more info on protecting your familys assets in this trying time, we have a free book explaining what you need to know. Legacy Lawyers can still help even if you are in a financial emergency right now due to your parents Parkinsons disease diagnosis, however.
Ready to take the next steps? or send a message through our online form to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
Changes In The Family
You may see little or no change in your parent, grandparent or family member after they find out they have Parkinsons. But they may have to rest often and they will do things more slowly than they used to, like walking and talking.
This can be frustrating for them and they may express that. At some point they may become upset, short-tempered and tired.
What You Can Do To Help Children Adjust To Pd
about changes in your home if at all possible. The staff at the school, along with sports coaches or leaders of other extracurricular activities, can be your allies in watching over your childrens emotional health and looking out for signs of distress. Sharing accurate PD information with the other adults in their lives will help ensure that your attitude and philosophies are always communicated in a similar way.
Establish family meetings to create opportunities to regularly address issues and worries, along with what is working well. You may use one of the books about Parkinsons written for children as a jumping off point for the discussion. Below youll find a list of a few of these books for reference. As PD is a progressive condition and will change over time, new questions may come up and need to be addressed. Plan a fun activity following a PD talk.
Maintain family life, while remaining flexible with the changes that occur. Encourage and reassure your kids to continue their involvement in favorite activities, interests and hobbies. They should have fun and live their normal lives as much as possible. This is important for their overall wellbeing.
Bring children to a neurology appointment so they can learn about PD. If they are interested, you can talk more about research into new treatments and with specialists who are available to help.
Empower children by helping them organize a PD fundraiser or raise PD awareness. It is something they can do to help.
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Living With Parkinson’s Disease
As Parkinson’s develops, a person who has it may slow down and won’t be able to move or talk quickly. Sometimes, speech therapy and occupational therapy are needed. This may sound silly, but someone who has Parkinson’s disease may need to learn how to fall down safely.
If getting dressed is hard for a person with Parkinson’s, clothing with Velcro and elastic can be easier to use than buttons and zippers. The person also might need to have railings installed around the house to prevent falls.
If you know someone who has Parkinson’s disease, you can help by being a good friend.
Is Parkinsons Disease Hereditary Genetics Of Parkinsons
Many people wonder: is Parkinson’s disease hereditary? Is there a Parkinsons disease gene? It’s important for patients with Parkinson’s disease to understand what caused Parkinson’s, especially if they worry about family members inheriting the disease. Others are concerned that they will one day develop Parkinson’s, especially if they have seen a parent or grandparent go through it. Although genes are a factor in Parkinson’s, the answer to this question is not straightforward. Find out if Parkinson’s disease is hereditary and whether or not you should worry.
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Generating Relevant Neuronal Cell Types For Pd
The cellular reprogramming toolbox for researchers is rapidly expanding and includes a panoply of neuronal differentiation protocols to generate cells representing various brain regions. PD is a debilitating motor system disorder resulting from the selective degeneration of midbrain dopamine neurons located in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Protocols have been established to specifically generate dopaminergic neurons and brain cells with a midbrain molecular profile,.
Helping A Senior Parent With Parkinsons Live Safely And Well
Parkinsons Awareness Month has put a spotlight on this progressive neurological disease. While physicians and researchers push for progress toward a cure, more than one million Americans live with the daily challenges of Parkinsons, which can range from mild tremors and trouble walking to hallucinations and the need for round-the-clock help.
If youre a family caregiver for a parent with Parkinsons, or if you recently found out that someone you love has the disease, here are some expert recommendations for helping your loved one enjoy the best possible quality of life.
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Should I Get Tested For Genetic Markers For Parkinson’s
You can find out if you have certain genetic markers for Parkinson’s disease with at-home genetic tests. However, Dr. Litvan is cautious about recommending genetic testing for everyone. Remember: Most people with the mutations linked to Parkinson’s never get the disease, so you may end up with a ton of unnecessary stress and worry if your results reveal one of these genetic factors.
Immobility Doesnt Mean Limitation
Your parent may find that their mobility issues start to become more pronounced as their Parkinsons progresses. The pressure on their partner to care for them can become a burden they may not be able to carry by themself.
Buying mobility aids and equipment to help your parent remain in their own home for longer as well as hiring carers to help with day-to-day tasks can keep your parent independent and relieve the caring responsibilities from their partner.
What To Do If Someone In Your Family Has Parkinsons Disease
If you spot the signs of Parkinsons disease in a member of your family, its important to consult a doctor straight away. Your doctor can formally diagnose the condition and identify where your loved one is on the Parkinsons scale. He or she will also suggest ongoing treatment such as medication and occupational therapy to help ease their symptoms.
The Michael J Fox Foundation Center for Parkinsons Research recommends these tips for caregivers:
- Find a support group for caregivers.
- Stay informed of developments by keeping in close contact with doctors and care staff.
- Stay organized when arranging appointments and physical therapy sessions.
- Expand your medical team to include as many medical professionals as possible.
Genetics And Environmental Factors
Environmental factors are also significant contributors to the development of Parkinson’s and may, in some cases, work in tandem with genetics to cause the disorder. A study in 2004 showed that people who had a mutation of the CYP2D6 gene and were exposed to pesticides were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s.
On their own, pesticides, metals, solvents, and other toxicants have each been loosely linked to Parkinson’s. But what’s interesting is that those who had the CYB2D6 mutation and were not exposed to pesticides were not found to be at any higher risk of developing the disorder.
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What Other Factors Cause Alzheimers Or Dementia
People with no trace of the ApoE gene can still develop dementia and Alzheimers. There are other risk factors which doctors believe contribute to these conditions. They include:
Fortunately, all of these lifestyle factors can be addressed to counter the onset of Alzheimers and dementia. Strategies for preventing the onset of cognitive disease will vary with every individual, but clinical research continues to indicate that healthy lifestyles can make our brains more resilient.
Additional Resources For You And Your Parent That Has Parkinsons
for educational resources on Parkinsons that can benefit both you and your parent with Parkinsons.
to learn more about our wellness programs for Parkinsons that help manage the disease and provide a supportive community of other people facing this disease. Feel free to share this resource with your parent that has Parkinsons
to sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with Parkinsons news, tips for PD, fundraising events and more.
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Parkinsons And Your Children/teenagers
Parkinsons disease is a family affair: everyone in your family is affected. As a parent of a young child or teen, it is important to consider how PD might affect your children and what can be done to continue to live a full family life with PD. A parents illness can present challenges for a family, but it can also provide opportunities for children to grow in ways they may never have experienced without the health issue. The good news is that children often adjust well to a loved ones diagnosis of PD. With support, they not only adjust but also thrive and can become more self-sufficient, confident and independent.
As symptoms of PD vary for each person, so do the emotions of each child. Common emotions include:
The Grass Is Always Greener
Parkinsons is unpredictable. It progresses in different ways in different people. Questioning why other Parkinsons sufferers seem to have it lucky compared to your parent and worrying about it will distract you from spending time with them. Enjoy the moments of lucidness and be there to quell moments of confusion.
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Genetic Predispositions Reducing Differentiation Yield Of Mda Neurons
In vitro neural development was impaired in neural lines derived from patients carrying LRRK2, PRKN, SNCA, and sporadic mutations,,,. In four independent studies, the differentiation potential of neural progenitor cells derived from patients was significantly reduced, demonstrated by low yields of neurons in comparison with control lines,,,,. A recent review presented the idea that PD is attributed to significant neurodevelopmental defects, which may increase the susceptibility for disease onset. If confirmed, identifying genetic predispositions that contribute to early developmental defects in iPSC-PD may assist the development of novel PD therapies. However, these phenotypes may appear in conflict with other studies,, capable of generating functional neurons from cell lines with similar mutations. The differences could be due to varying protocols, which may be more or less stressful for the cells.
Genetic Role Not Entirely Known In Affected Families
Genetics very likely plays a role in all types of Parkinson’s disease. However, while having a specific combination of genetics may increase your risk of the disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get it.
Around 15 to 25 percent of people living with Parkinson’s have a family history of the condition, either an immediate or second-degree relation. Having one or more of these relatives will place you at slightly higher risk for Parkinson’s, but it’s still no guarantee you’ll develop the disorder.
Conversely, if you have Parkinson’s, it shouldn’t suggest that any of your kids or grandkids will get the disease either. It merely indicates that their risk is slightly above those without a family history.
In the end, most cases of Parkinson’s don’t have any known cause . While there are forms that seem to run in families, these account for a small percentage of cases roughly five to 10 percent, all told.
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How Hereditary Is Parkinson’s Disease
If your mom or dad gets Parkinson’s disease, you might wonder if you’ll get it, too. The good news is that the chance of inheriting Parkinson’s disease is rare . Just how hereditary Parkinson’s disease is depends on the exact mutation involved.
There are two categories of genetic factors linked to Parkinson’s. The first is “causal,” meaning the gene itself is capable of bringing on the disease.
One example of a causal link to Parkinson’s disease can be found in the SNCA gene. Researchers know of at least 30 mutations on this particular gene that can cause Parkinson’s disease, especially in people younger than 50 years old.
The SNCA gene tells the body how to make a protein called alpha-synuclein. When the gene has a mutation, the body may produce too much alpha-synuclein or versions of the protein with an incorrect shape. Either of these problems can lead to alpha-synuclein to gather in the brain in clusters called Lewy bodies, which disrupt normal brain functioning. Lewy bodies are associated with Parkinson’s, along with a range of other diseases .
Not all genetic mutations cause Parkinson’s disease, though. “Associated” genetic factors for Parkinson’s increase a person’s odds of developing the disease, but aren’t directly responsible for it.
“You’re susceptible, but you need something else present as well ,” Dr. Litvan says. “That could be other genes or it could be an environmental factor.”
Does Parkinsons Cause Death
Generally speaking, how long people live is not greatly affected by Parkinsons. The drugs used to treat it are very good at controlling movement problems, and many people carry on working and doing the same things they did before they had it.
However, if someones symptoms get worse over a period of time, it can make them less able to get around and more likely to pick up infections.
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Causal And Associated Genes
The idea that a gene abnormality may cause some cases of Parkinsons dates back to 1997. At that time, scientists at the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health first precisely identified that an irregularity in the synuclein alpha gene , the gene that provides instructions to make the protein alpha-synuclein, could lead to this movement disorder.
Alpha-synuclein is found in abundance in the brain and is thought to help regulate the release of dopamine, a chemical involved in the transmission of signals between nerve cells . With Parkinsons, the brain doesnt produce enough dopamine. This 1997 research on SNCA confirmed that at least one form of Parkinsons disease is inherited.
Up until 1997, people did not broadly think that Parkinsons could be hereditary or familial, says James Beck, PhD, chief scientific officer with the Parkinsons Foundation. With that discovery, we began to identify a number of genes linked with Parkinsons.
In 2004, scientists discovered the most common genetic contributor to Parkinsons, a mutation in LRRK2, a gene that is active in the brain and pushes a persons risk to 30 percent. Certain ethnic groups are more likely to have this gene irregularity. The faulty LRRK2 gene accounts for 1 percent to 2 percent of all Parkinsons cases, according to a review published in February 2016 in Biochemical Journal.
Are You At Higher Risk
It is relatively rare for a parent to pass down Parkinsons to a child. However, people who get early-onset Parkinsons are more likely to have inherited it.
In most cases, the cause of Parkinsons is unknown, although the most common risk factors include:
- Male gender
- Mutations in specific genes associated with Parkinsons
- A family history of Parkinsons
- Exposure to herbicides or pesticides
The only way to truly determine if you or a member of your family is carrying one of the genes associated with the disease is to participate in genetic testing. These tests can identify if you have an associated gene marker and how likely it is that it will be passed down to your children.
While there isnt a way to fully prevent Parkinsons disease, you can certainly be proactive, Dr. Hanna says. Genetic testing and counseling will allow you to discover if you do have a mutated gene, how likely it is that it will be passed down to your children, as well as the best treatment options for your diagnosis.
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Who Should Get Genetic Testing
Two groups might consider getting genetic testing, according to Gilbert:
- People with Parkinsons who want to know if they have a mutation they may pass along to their children
- Children and siblings of family members with Parkinsons who want to determine their genetic risk for the disease
Right now its not standard of care for everyone with Parkinsons to get genetic testing, she says. The likelihood that were going to find one of these mutations that is known already is small, and even if you have a mutation associated with Parkinsons, it doesnt mean that youre going to get the disease.
So, at this point, the value of getting tested depends on the individual. Doctors can provide this type of genetic evaluation, or people may turn to direct-to-consumer genetic testing, such as 23andMe. These tests, however, can be limited.
You have to be careful with those panels because theyre not very comprehensive, says Gilbert. They may test for only one or two gene variations.
Currently, 23andMe analyzes DNA from spit samples for a variant in LRRK2 and a variant in the GBA gene associated with the disorder. The company makes it clear that the exam does not diagnose the disease, and there are many other mutations to consider.
Parkinsons patient Paul Cannon, PhD, who works for 23andMe as its Parkinsons research community manager, took the test and found that he had neither of the genetic variations.