Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Is Dementia And Parkinson’s The Same

Signs And Symptoms Of Pdd

Comparing Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease

Common signs and symptoms of Parkinsons disease dementia include:

  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Depression
  • Visual hallucinations

If youve noticed some of the above signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one, its important to get them checked out. But dont jump to conclusions. People with Parkinsons often experience cognitive changes such as anxiety, lack of motivation, and slowed thinking. These symptoms do not automatically mean dementia.

What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Parkinson disease dementia can cause problems with:

  • Speaking and communicating with others
  • Problem solving
  • Forgetfulness
  • Paying attention

If you have Parkinson disease and dementia, in time, you likely won’t be able to live by yourself. Dementia affects your ability to care of yourself, even if you can still physically do daily tasks.

Experts don’t understand how or why dementia often occurs with Parkinson disease. Its clear, though, that dementia and problems with cognitive function are linked to changes in the brain that cause problems with movement. As with Parkinson disease, dementia occurs when nerve cells degenerate, leading to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson disease dementia may be treated with medicines also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, another type of dementia.

Parkinson’s Disease Dementia And Dementia With Lewy Bodies

The key pathological hallmark found in brains of Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s disease dementia patients are abnormal microscopic deposits composed of alpha-synuclein. This protein is found widely in the brain but its normal function is not yet well understood. The deposits are called “Lewy bodies”. Lewy bodies are also found in several other neurodegenerative brain disorders, including dementia with Lewy bodies . Evidence suggests that Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s disease dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, may be linked to the same underlying abnormalities in brain processing of alpha-synuclein.

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Treatment And Medications For Parkinsons Disease With Dementia

There is no way to reverse the progression of Parkinsons disease with dementia, but it is still possible to slow and manage symptoms so that your loved one with this disease can live as rich and full a life as possible. Speaking with a doctor who specializes in these cases is obviously a good idea. Counseling and certain therapies can help physical, occupational, and speech therapy have benefited people with dementia. It may be a good idea to tackle some symptoms individually. Therapy or antidepressants, for instance, can help with depression and anxiety.

There is not a gold standard for medications that help people with Parkinsons disease, according to studies. This means that its important to have a doctor tailor medications to specific individuals. Drugs for restoring dopamine activity have been shown to help with physical symptoms like tremors, but no medication is available to specifically target the symptoms of Parkinsons disease dementia.

That said, cholinesterase inhibitors are one of the few drugs available that have been shown to help thinking and memory for people with Alzheimers disease, and studies have shown that people with PDD see benefits as well. Cholinesterase inhibitors increase communication between brain cells, and in particular can help control hallucinations and improve sleep.

Comparison Of Motor Symptoms


On the Hoehn and Yahr scale as well as on UPDRS III and IV , the PDD group had significantly higher scores than the DLB group, but there was no significant difference in predominant motor subtype between both groups. The tremor severity was higher in the PDD group, but only regarding the tremor at rest, which was marginally significant . Compared to DLB patients, PDD patients also demonstrated a significantly higher score on hand and feet bradykinesia as well as a tendency towards increased rigidity.

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How Can We Support The Sleep/wake Cycle Of Pdd

For people with PDD who are confused about the day-night cycle, some daily strategies can be helpful. At night, starting a lights out routine that happens at the same hour every day, where all curtains are closed and lights are turned off, can help the person understand that it is sleep time. During the day, opening the curtains, allowing the person with PDD to spend as much time in the daylight as possible, avoiding naps, and organizing stimulating activities, can be helpful. Having lots of calendars and clocks in every room might also help a person with PDD be less confused about the time of day.

Clinical Features And Diagnostic Criteria Of Dlb

Table 1 Clinical overlap and dissimilarities between dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson disease with dementia

Supporting clinical features for the diagnosis of probable or possible DLB are repeated falls, syncopes, hyposmia, severe autonomic dysfunction, hypersomnia, hallucinations in non-visual modalities, apathy, depression, and severe sensitivity to antipsychotic agents . However, since these changes also occur in advanced PD, they cannot differentiate DLB from PDD, e.g., the prevalence of neuroleptic sensitivity does not differ significantly between them .

A diagnosis of clinically probable DLB requires two or more core clinical features to be present, with or without indicative biomarkers, or the presence of only one core clinical feature but with one or more indicative biomarkers . Although the diagnostic specificity of these criteria is high , the sensitivity can be low , improving with additional supporting features such as biomarkers . A recent meta-analysis reported a pooled sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 60.2% , 93.8% , and 79.7% , respectively, for the diagnostic criteria of DLB . Thus, currently, approximately 20% of DLB diagnoses are incorrect .

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How Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia Diagnosed

No single test can diagnose Parkinsons disease dementia. Instead, doctors rely on a series or combination of tests and indicators.

Your neurologist will likely diagnose you with Parkinsons and then track your progression. They may monitor you for signs of dementia. As you get older, your risk for Parkinsons dementia increases.

Your doctor is more likely to conduct regular testing to monitor your cognitive functions, memory recall, and mental health.

Early Signs And Symptoms Are Different

The differentiation between Lewy body and Parkinson’s disease dementia

Parkinsons disease generally begins as a movement disorder. Early signs and symptoms include:2

  • Tremor, which often begins in the hand or fingers
  • Slowed movement, which may include foot dragging
  • Rigidity
  • Slowed automatic movements such as blinking, smiling, and swinging your arms when you walk

Alzheimers disease generally begins as noticeable memory loss. Early signs and symptoms include:3,4

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The Differences Between Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s

16 October, 2020

Do you know the differences between Alzheimers and Parkinsons? First of all, we must say that both diseases constitute two of the causes of dementia. Now, lets be a bit more specific. According to data from the WHO , dementia due to Alzheimers disease represents 60-70% of all cases of dementia in the world.

However, its important to keep in mind that theyre very different diseases. Additionally, we must make clear that having either condition doesnt always lead to the development of dementia . In this sense, we know that between 20-60% of people with Parkinsons disease end up developing dementia.

Buter et al. conducted a study that was published in the journal Neurology. It was conducted with 233 patients with Parkinsons disease. The researchers were able to observe that about 60% of them developed Parkinsons dementia in a period of 12 years.

So whats dementia? It refers to the set of symptoms that arise as a consequence of neurological damage or disease. These symptoms involve the loss or weakening of the mental faculties and mainly affect three different areas: cognitive , behavioral , and personality .

Parkinsons Disease Dementia/lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia and Parkinsons disease dementia are types of dementia that are caused by proteins in the brain called ‘alpha synuclein’, which clump together to form Lewy bodies. LBD is the third most common cause of dementia, accounting for about 5-10% of cases.

As LBD and PDD share very similar features and have the same cause, many experts consider them the same disease but with different signs and symptoms. If motor symptoms appear first, such as tremors, shuffled walking or rigid muscles, then a diagnosis of PDD is given. If dementia symptoms occur before the motor symptoms, then a diagnosis of LBD is given.

Some signs and symptoms of LBD and PDD include:

  • Problems with thinking and reasoning
  • Difficulty with movements
  • Fluctuation in alertness and thinking, which can vary day to day or from morning to evening
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep disturbances

Frontotemporal dementia is caused by damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, impairing the functions of those areas.

There are three subtypes of frontotemporal dementia:

1. Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia

The bvFTD type, the most common type of FTD, involves changes in personality, behaviour, and judgement. For example, a person with bvFTD can lose social etiquettes and act inappropriately in public . A persons memory may remain intact, at least in the early stages of the disease.

2. Primary progressive aphasia

3. Movement Disorders

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Is There A Test To Diagnose Pd Dementia

There is no single test for PDD. The diagnosis is made clinically. If you or someone you spend time with notices cognitive changes, it is important to discuss them with your care team. If you dont have a care team in place, its important to find a specialist or physician familiar with dementia or geriatric medicine. Call the Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline 1-800-4PD-INFO for a referral.

Things You Should Know About The Link Between Parkinsons And Dementia

Twilight Zone: What Is Dementia?

Both Parkinsons disease and dementia were ravaging the brain and behavior of actor Robin Williams before his death, but at the time, he didnt realize he had the latter.

Despite the fact that the signs of this combination can be confusing, the double diagnosis of Parkinsons and dementia impacts a large number of people. Of the one million people who have Parkinsons in the U.S., 50 to 80 percent may have dementiaeither as a result of Parkinsons pathology, or separately.

Robin Williams widow, Susan, wrote an editorial published in Neurology that was addressed to neurologists after his death. In it, she shared what it was like seeing her husband experience both Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia firsthand.

My hope is that it will help you understand your patients along with their spouses and caregivers a little more, Susan wrote.

Williams was first diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, which at first seemed to provide some answers for his out-of-character symptoms.

But it wasnt until after his death that an autopsy revealed he had been in the later stages of Lewy body dementiaa common form of dementia characterized by deposits of Lewy body proteins in the brain, which can impact physical movement, mood, memory and behavior.

I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting, Susan wrote. But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life.

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Causes Of Parkinsons Disease With Dementia

Experts do not know what causes Parkinsons disease. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Someone who has family members with the disease is slightly more likely to develop Parkinsons. It has also been linked with exposure to pesticides and to head injuries. There is some evidence that having never smoked or drank caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea actually increases a persons chance of developing Parkinsons.

Between 50 and 80 percent of people with Parkinsons Disease will develop dementia because of the spreading deterioration of brain cells over time. Motor skills and movement are affected first causing shaking, rigidity, and slowness but after enough time the brains structure changes to the point where problem solving and memory become affected.

Risk factors for someone who has Parkinsons to develop PDD are: Old age Gender Long duration of Parkinsons Family history of dementia Hallucinations before other dementia symptoms Movement problems that are beyond typical for Parkinsons

How PDD Compares to Dementia with Lewy Bodies

How PDD Compares to Alzheimers Disease

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 don’t 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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Coping With Alzheimers And Parkinsons Disease

Living with both Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease is extremely challenging. The dementia of Alzheimers combined with the movement effects of Parkinsons can make self-care especially difficult.

Rivastigmine is the only medication that is specifically approved for the treatment of Parkinsons dementia. Additionally, you may need medication for the motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease and medication to help with other symptoms, such as dry skin.

What Is Parkinsons Disease

Motor aspects of daily living in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s dementia

Parkinsons disease was described by James Parkinson nearly 100 years before Dr. Alois Alzheimer described the dementia later named Alzheimers disease . Called the shaking palsy by Parkinson, PD is diagnosed when a person shows at least two of these three symptoms: slowed movements , muscle rigidity, and tremor . We recognize many other associated signs of PD, including expressionless face, quiet speech, cramped handwriting, shuffling gait, trouble getting out of a chair, and difficulty swallowing. Many of the symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease result when certain nerve cells that produce dopamine in the brain begin to malfunction and die.

Most cases are called idiopathic, meaning the cause remains unknown, although a small number of cases are linked with poisoning , head trauma, more complex PD-like neurological disorders , or reversible toxic medication effects ,

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How Are Parkinsons And Dementia Related

Parkinsons and dementia are two of the most common degenerative neurological conditions in this country, affecting many thousands of people. However, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about the illnesses.

If you have been told that you have either condition, the future may seem bleak and bewildering. Whether youve found this blog having been recently been diagnosed, or are worried about a loved one, then read on, hopefully, we can help you to gain some understanding.

Treatment Of Pdd And Dlb

Unfortunately, since both types of Lewy Body Dementia often display similar symptoms, patients suffering from either PDD of DLB can get misdiagnosed and subsequently prescribed the incorrect medication and method of treatment. Caregivers and medical professionals alike can increase their understanding of symptoms for each disease to help them more quickly and accurately diagnose and treat each one.

The Lewy Body Dementia Resource Center provides literature, support groups, and help for caregivers grappling with care and treatment of a loved one who has Lewy Body Dementia. Our helpline is available 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for caregivers who have questions or are in need of support. Our online resource center seeks to bring awareness and support to caregivers of those suffering with Lewy Body Dementia. Please dont hesitate to reach out to us.

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Two Of The Following Are Present :

  • Fluctuating cognition: Mental problems varying during the day, especially attention and alertness.
  • Visual hallucinations: Detailed and well-formed visions, which occur and recur.
  • RBD: Physically acting out dreams while asleep.

A DLB diagnosis is even more likely if the individual also experiences any of the following: repeated falls, fainting, brief loss of consciousness, delusions, apathy, anxiety, problems with temperature and blood pressure regulation, urinary incontinence, and chronic constipation, loss of smell, or sensitivity to neuroleptic medications that are given to control hallucinations and other psychiatric symptoms.

Finally, the timing of symptoms is a reliable clue: if cognitive symptoms appear before or within a year of motor symptoms, DLB is more likely the cause than Parkinsonâs disease. Signs of stroke or vascular dementia usually negate the likelihood of DLB.

Testing is usually done to rule out other possible causes of dementia, motor, or behavioral symptoms. Brain imaging can detect brain shrinkage and help rule out stroke, fluid on the brain , or subdural hematoma. Blood and other tests might show vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, syphilis, HIV, or vascular disease. Depression is also a common cause of dementia-like symptoms. Additional tests can include an electroencephalogram or spinal tap .

Is Dementia In Parkinsons Different From Dementia In Alzheimers

Dementia caused by Parkinson

When people hear dementia, Alzheimers is usually the first and only condition to come to mind. The truth is, there are a number of different conditions that can cause dementia. Parkinsons disease is one of them.

Dementia describes a group of symptoms connected to a decline in memory and mental ability. Its caused by damage to the brain cells, affecting a persons ability to communicate, think, behave, and feel.

People think dementia in Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers disease are one and the same. This couldnt be further from the truth. Alzheimers dementia and Parkinsons dementia affect people in entirely different ways.

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Lewy Body Dementia: A Common Yet Underdiagnosed Dementia

While its not a household word yet, Lewy body dementia is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known disorders like Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons, it is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. In fact, many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with LBD.

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