What Is The Outlook For Persons With Parkinsons Disease
Although there is no cure or absolute evidence of ways to prevent Parkinsons disease, scientists are working hard to learn more about the disease and find innovative ways to better manage it, prevent it from progressing and ultimately curing it.
Currently, you and your healthcare teams efforts are focused on medical management of your symptoms along with general health and lifestyle improvement recommendations . By identifying individual symptoms and adjusting the course of action based on changes in symptoms, most people with Parkinsons disease can live fulfilling lives.
The future is hopeful. Some of the research underway includes:
- Using stem cells to produce new neurons, which would produce dopamine.
- Producing a dopamine-producing enzyme that is delivered to a gene in the brain that controls movement.
- Using a naturally occurring human protein glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, GDNF to protect dopamine-releasing nerve cells.
Many other investigations are underway too. Much has been learned, much progress has been made and additional discoveries are likely to come.
Like Parkinsons Vision Is Linked To The Brain
Vision plays such a critical function that a substantial portion of our brain is made up of pathways that connect our eyes to the visual areas of our brain and the areas that help process this visual information . The primary purpose of the front part of our eyes is to produce the clearest possible image, which is then transmitted to the back part of the eye, called the retina. The retina is made up of nerve cells that communicate via visual pathways using the neurotransmitter dopamine. In addition, we have two eyes with overlapping visual fields, which enables our brain to see the world in three dimensions and process complex visual information.
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.
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Difficulty Moving The Eyes Or Difficulty In Focusing On Moving Objects
The slowness or reduced movement associated with Parkinsons may affect how you move your eyes. You might notice this more when following a fast-moving object such as a vehicle or ball. Your eyes may move slowly and jerkily. You may also experience some difficulty in reading because the eyes are slower in jumping from the end of a line to the beginning of the next.
Difficulties moving the eyes up and down are more common in a condition called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a form of parkinsonism. If you experience this problem, your specialist or Parkinsons nurse if you have one, will be able to give advice.
Caution! If detecting or seeing movement is difficult, particularly estimating the speed of a moving object such as a car, great care should be taken when out and about, both when driving and walking.
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How To Take Amantadine
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack and any additional information your doctor has given to you. These will give you more information about amantadine and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take amantadine exactly as your doctor tells you to.
- If you have been prescribed amantadine for Parkinson’s disease symptoms it is usual to take 100 mg daily for the first week, and then for the dose to increase to twice a day. Some people may require doses of up to 400 mg daily.
- If you have been prescribed amantadine to prevent a shingles rash and nerve pain the dose is 100 mg twice a day for 14 days. If you are still in pain after 14 days a further course of treatment may be prescribed.
- Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you what dose to take each day, and the directions will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
- Try to take your doses of amantadine at the same time each day, as this will help you remember to take it regularly.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Try to take the correct number of doses each day but do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Could It Be Psoriasis
You may know this condition from these symptoms:
- Itchy or sore patches of skin
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Thick, red, scaly patches on the skin
But psoriasis can affect your eyes, too. It can cause a condition called uveitis, when inflammation leads to swelling that causes blurred vision, pain, redness, and sensitivity to light.
Treatments can get rid of uveitis, but the type you need will depend on which part of your eye is affected. Learn more about uveitis.
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Patients With Parkinson Disease At Increased Risk Of Vision Eye Issues Study Shows
Patients with Parkinson disease were found to be more likely to experience vision and eye issues, such as blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble with depth perception, and problems adjusting to rapid changes in light, compared with people without the disorder, according to study findings.
Patients with Parkinson disease were found to be more likely to experience vision and eye issues, such as blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble with depth perception, and problems adjusting to rapid changes in light, compared with people without the disorder, according to study findings published in Neurology.
In patients with PD , irregular eyesight can prove a chief issue, as ophthalmologic disorders combined with postural and gait instability from the disorder may increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries, noted the study authors.
Risk of vision impairment is potentially common for PwP because PD is linked with retinal dopamine depletion and decreased dopaminergic innervation of the visual cortex, which can lead to visual problems such as diminished oculomotor control, contrast sensitivity, color vision, and visuospatial construction. PwP are also at increased risk for seborrheic blepharitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca .
In PwP with ophthalmologic symptoms, 68% reported that it interfered with daily activities, compared with 35% of controls .
What Is Blurred Vision
If you have blurred vision, the things you see will not look sharp and clear. You may experience blurred vision in both eyes or just in one eye, depending on what is causing it. Sometimes everything you look at will be blurry, while sometimes just part of your field of vision will be blurred.
You can also have other symptoms along with blurred vision, including headaches, sensitivity to light, or red, irritated eyes.
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Difficulty Swallowing Or Eating
Parkinsons affects the muscles in the face, mouth, and throat that control speaking and swallowing. Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a symptom of Parkinsons that can lead to trouble eating.
It can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, or aspiration which happens when food or saliva goes down the wrong pipe and is inhaled into the lungs. Aspiration can lead to aspiration pneumonia, the leading cause of death in Parkinsons.
Can Parkinsons Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, no. Parkinsons disease is long-term disease that worsens over time. Although there is no way to prevent or cure the disease , medications may significantly relieve your symptoms. In some patients especially those with later-stage disease, surgery to improve symptoms may be an option.
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Ophthalmologic Features Of Parkinsons Disease
This paper is a systematic evaluation of the ocular complaints and ocular finding of 30 PD patients with early untreated PD, and 31 control subjects without neurologic or known ocular diseases. The ocular abnormalities found more commonly encountered by PD patients frequently respond to treatment. Abstract and access to the full article.
Treatment For Parkinsons Disease
There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.
Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.
No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.
- Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Saturday: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
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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.
Could It Be Preeclampsia
If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t take blurry vision lightly. It could be a sign of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition marked by very high blood pressure and protein in your urine. Preeclampsia occurs in women who have never had high blood pressure before and generally occurs late in pregnancy, generally after 20 weeks. It can have serious, life-threatening effects on you and your baby.
Preeclampsia may not cause any symptoms, but blurry vision and other sight changes such as seeing flashing lights or spots could be clues that you have it.
Be sure to contact your doctor if you notice these as well as other possible signs:
- Anxiety, shortness of breath, a racing heart, or confusion
Learn more about how to lower your preeclampsia risk.
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How Does Parkinson’s Cause Vision Issues
Parkinsons is characterized by a loss of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra portion of the brain. The reduction of dopamine can affect the visual cortex. So Parkinsons can impair mobility of the eyes just like the limbs. There are several kinds of visual disturbances that may be experienced by people with Parkinsons. Many who experience changes in vision or eye mechanics seek out a consultation from a neuro-opthalmologist, someone who specializes in visual problems associated with neurological disease.2
Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson’s
Despite the struggles caused by this degenerative disease, there is hope. Talk to your eye doctor. He or she may recommend medicated ointments or drops, injections, therapeutic lenses, visual aids, vision therapy, or a combination thereof. Additionally, a Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation doctor can provide comprehensive eye care specifically designed for neurological disorders like PD.
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What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Most patients with Parkinsons disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable reducing symptoms during on periods and no longer controlling symptoms during off periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they cant. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.
Colour Vision Contrast Sensitivity And Low Light Conditions
A lack of dopamine-producing cells in the retina can cause problems with colour vision and contrast sensitivity. This means that it may be hard to distinguish between shades of the same colour, particularly blues and blue/greens. Some people also have difficulty defining images on a background of similar shades or colours and reading fine print, particularly in low light levels.
Levodopa and other Parkinsons medications may help with these problems. Your doctor will be able to advise you on this.
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Stages Of Parkinsons Symptoms
Parkinsons symptoms can be divided into three categories or phases: pre-motor, motor, and cognitive. These phases dont necessarily happen in chronological order, and not all Parkinsons patients will experience all symptoms.
The premotor phase is the phase of Parkinsons in which non-motor symptoms are present. These symptoms include:
- loss of smell
There are two main categories of tremor: resting tremor, and action tremor. Resting tremor occurs when muscles are relaxed, like when your hands are sitting in your lap, and lessen during sleep or when the body part is in use. Action tremors occur with the voluntary movements of a muscle.
Tremors typically affect only one side of the body but may affect both sides as the disease progresses. Fatigue, stress, and intense emotion may worsen tremors.
Could It Be Multiple Sclerosis
Blurry vision is often one of the earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis . The disease causes inflammation along the nerve that connects your eyes to your brain, called the optic nerve. That causes a condition called optic neuritis, which can give you blurry sight, loss of color vision, and pain when you move your eyes. It often happens in just one eye.
Besides blurry vision, MS also causes:
- Trouble with balance
If your doctor thinks you might have a brain tumor, they’ll use different tests to check how well your brain and spinal cord work, as well as imaging tests to see inside your head. Learn more about the different types of brain tumors.
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What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
Each person with Parkinsons disease experiences symptoms in in their own unique way. Not everyone experiences all symptoms of Parkinsons disease. You may not experience symptoms in the same order as others. Some people may have mild symptoms others may have intense symptoms. How quickly symptoms worsen also varies from individual to individual and is difficult to impossible to predict at the outset.
In general, the disease progresses from early stage to mid-stage to mid-late-stage to advanced stage. This is what typically occurs during each of these stages:
Early symptoms of Parkinsons disease are usually mild and typically occur slowly and do not interfere with daily activities. Sometimes early symptoms are not easy to detect or you may think early symptoms are simply normal signs of aging. You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing.
Often, a family member or friend notices some of the subtle signs before you do. They may notice things like body stiffness or lack of normal movement slow or small handwriting, lack of expression in your face, or difficulty getting out of a chair.
Standing and walking are becoming more difficult and may require assistance with a walker. You may need full time help to continue to live at home.