Causes Of Parkinsons Disease In Seniors
Parkinsons Disease affects the section of the brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta, and it controls muscle movement and produces dopamine. Without dopamine, muscle movements become jerky or difficult to control.Scientists believe the disease is more common in seniors based on a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As people age, the processes imperative to the function of substantia nigra neurons begin to decline. Based on an article by Reeve, Simcox, & Turnbull , the following causes cell death of the substantia nigra neurons:
- Accumulation of mitochondrial DNA defects
- Oxidative damage
- Accumulation of neuromelanin
These stressors can weaken the neurons significantly. Although it is unknown why, mitochondrial dysfunction and changes to the protein degradation pathways are more detrimental to the neurons in the substantia nigra than anywhere else in the brain.
Parkinsons Disease Is Not A Death Sentence
As a younger Parkie myself, it was good to read Eleanor Tuckers piece giving a different perspective on Parkinsons disease . So often Parkinsons comes across in the media as a death sentence inaccurate, and very depressing for anyone newly diagnosed. It would be good also to note that tremendous progress is being made towards a cure. The websites of the Cure Parkinsons Trust and Parkinsons UK highlight trials that are happening right now with drugs that are used for other conditions but are also proving effective in combating PD.
Funding is the big issue: there simply isnt enough money to pursue all the promising leads. Yet, in financial terms alone, investment in research makes sense. A cure would make massive savings in the cost of the drugs currently being used to treat the symptoms of Parkinsons.Bev Maydon
Realities Of Living With Parkinsons
Parkinsons disease is unpredictable, so it can be difficult to make any plansbig or smallwithout worrying you have to cancel at the last minute. Living with the painful symptoms, both physical and mental, can be draining.
Daily tasks may require a lot of energy for someone with Parkinson’s disease to complete or are taken away altogether. For example, a person without a chronic disease can drive to the grocery store, come home and do laundry, cook dinner for their family, and still have time to relax at the end of the day. However, a person with Parkinson’s will have to put much more effort and time into each task and may not be able to drive at all.
As the disease progresses to its later stages, many people are forced to give up their independence and autonomy when it comes to taking care of themselves. This makes coping with a diagnosis and the disease incredibly difficult.
However, with the right treatments, you can slow disease progression and remain independent for as long as possible.
Read Also: Medications For Parkinson’s Disease And Side Effects
Myth : Parkinsons Medications Cause Symptoms
Fact: Even though the myth that Parkinsons disease medicines are toxic and make the condition progress faster was completely debunked, it persists. Levodopa is the main drug therapy for Parkinsons disease. Its a potent drug that helps patients with motor symptoms. But many people got the idea that over time, it makes the disease progress faster. The myth was that levodopa is somehow toxic and is somehow making the Parkinsons progression faster, hurting patients.
This misconception was debunked decades ago with a large clinical trial, where it was found that people exposed to levodopa versus a placebo werent worse. In fact, they were better at the end of the study.
Its true that levodopa isnt a cure as yet, there is no cure for Parkinsons disease but its not toxic.
There Are Some Subtle Early Warning Signs
Along with the early motor symptoms such as tremors and stiffness, other early warning signs of the disease can include the loss of smell and a soft voice. Small handwriting is also a telltale sign that someone may have Parkinsons, especially if over time it continues to get smaller and more crowded.
Recommended Reading: Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease In Women
Interested In Parkinsons Disease Research Sign Up To Our Forums And Join The Conversation
Dont give up.
At times, not giving up is easier said than done, especially when you feel alone and abandoned. You may feel your friends and family have abandoned you, but its often more a case of them not understanding your new journey. Its probably best to give those people in your life a free forgiveness pass and move on as you make new friends in the PD community who truly understand what living with PD is like.
Parkinsons disease causes grief, but we can choose to live joyfully and intentionally in spite of what we feel has been taken from us. It is not a death sentence, and we must learn to readjust to our new life. And a new life brings new opportunities. As one person said, never lose hope and keep the faith because God is doing miracles every day and you may be the one He is working through to accomplish just that.
What Is The Prognosis For Someone With Early
One of the challenges of early-onset Parkinsons disease is that you will inevitably live longer with the condition, as Parkinsons alone is not fatal. Early-onset Parkinsons disease does not always present the same way as late-onset Parkinsons disease, and there is no definite prognosis. Younger Parkinsons patients may be more at risk of developing non-motor symptoms, such as depression, sleep disorders, anxiety and urinary issues, which can cause health complications as the disease progresses.
However, early-onset patients also show slower disease progression, and it can take years to move between stages. Each case of Parkinsons is reviewed on an individual basis, so only your doctor can tell you your prognosis.
You May Like: What Is The Best Mucuna Pruriens For Parkinson’s
Parkinsons Disease: Is Death Inevitable
Death is inevitable for us all, but Parkinson’s disease in itself is not a death sentence. Your prognosis will depend on your age, general health, and how your Parkinson’s has progressed. However, there is no reason to assume that you won’t continue to live a full and productive life with the condition.
Scientists are performing new medical trials and research all the time to look for a cure for Parkinsons disease, while our understanding of medications and treatments is better than it has ever been. Therefore, there are plenty of ways you can control the symptoms of Parkinsons disease and make changes to your lifestyle as necessary. Many Parkinsons patients take up yoga, gardening, swimming and walking to improve their strength, flexibility and mental health. Others use physical therapy, massage and meditation to help keep symptoms at bay. These are great ways to extend your life expectancy with or without Parkinsons disease.
APA ReferenceSmith, E. . Is Parkinsons Disease Fatal? Life Expectancy for Parkinsons, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, August 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/parkinsons-disease/information/is-parkinsons-disease-fatal-life-expectancy-for-parkinsons
Fighting The Good Fight
When Kent started Rock Steady, his gait was so limited that he struggled to walk 20 feet without falling. Now, he can walk a few miles most days. He took a trip to Europe last fall. For him, Rock Steady has been a life-changing experience.
Im not the same person physically or mentally that I was 10 months ago, he said. I walk more, and I walk faster. My sense of smell is back, and Im stronger. The only symptom I have now is that I still shake, but its intermittent. Im able to do just about anything.
In fact, after seeing the benefits of Rock Steady, Kent decided to join a few other classes at NKCH. I do a yoga class twice a week that has really improved my balance, and I recently started a spin class for a little extra cardio.
While Rock Steady Boxing can be beneficial, medication is still a vital part of a treatment plan. Dr. Kosa also recommends adding a physical therapy component. A dedicated PT program would be helpful, whether thats through the NKCH outpatient rehabilitation department or an aquatic therapy class, he said.
Kent has made so much progress in recent months that Dr. Kosa recently told him he could wait a year for the next follow-up appointment.
My quality of life has improved 100%, Kent said. My life is good.
Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s Support Group Connecticut
Parkinsons Disease: Overview Of Major Events
A lot of what we know today is based on advances in technology and previous medical breakthroughs. Some major events regarding Parkinsons Disease were :
- Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist, was the first to use the term Parkinsons Disease in 1827.
- Brain surgery on patients with Parkinsons disease was banned as a result of several people becoming partially paralyzed in the early 1900s.
- Dr. Brissaud suggested in 1925 that damage to the substantia nigra was likely the cause of Parkinsons disease.
- Brain surgeries resurfaced in the 1940s and showed improvements to symptoms presented in Parkinsons disease patients.
- Anticholinergics were prescribed in the 1950s to reduce the contraction of muscles.
- The National Parkinson Foundation and the Parkinsons Disease Foundation were founded in 1957.
- Parkinsons disease symptoms were treated via Levodopa injection.
- The five stages of Parkinsons disease were introduced by Hoehn and Yahr in 1967.
- The FDA permitted the use of deep brain stimulation surgery in 1997.
- In 2004, researchers identified LRRK2, a gene linked to the cause of Parkinsons disease.
- The Parkinsons outcomes project was created in 2009 and has more than 9000 participants.
- In 2016, The National Parkinson Foundation and the Parkinsons Disease Foundation merged to create the Parkinsons Foundation.
Research Towards A Cure
One of the primary goals of the Foundation is to create awareness and understanding about Parkinsons disease. Unfortunately, too many individuals are in denial about the disease or fear there is a stigma associated with it and delay seeking medical help. Early diagnosis and treatment can provide years that are virtually symptom-free.
People also need to realize that Parkinsons is not a death sentence. Life expectancy is about the same as for people without the disease. Yes, your life will change, and no, there is not a cure for the disease yet. With proper medication and therapy, however, symptoms can be managed and you can live a normal life. It will just be a new normal type of life.
While there is not a cure for Parkinsons yet, there is a tremendous amount of research being devoted to the disease. New drugs are being developed and tested regularly, but this is an expensive proposition as the cost to develop a new drug can reach hundreds of millions or even a billion dollars. Thus, there is also a lot of effort going into repurposing existing drugs for other diseases to see if they can also be effective in treating Parkinsons. Finally, there is additional encouraging research using stem cells.
Don’t Miss: How To Support Someone With Parkinson’s Disease
Apda In Your Community
APDAUncategorizedDeath in Parkinsons Disease
This article was written at the request of a Parkinsons patient who wanted to know how patients die from PD.
Most patients die with Parkinsons Disease and not from it. The illnesses that kill most people are the same as those that kill people with PD. These are heart conditions, stroke and cancer. As we age we become increasingly aware that more than one bad thing can happen to our bodies.
Parkinsons Disease Late Stages: What Will Happen To Me
With advanced Parkinsons disease, stage 5 life expectancy can be months or years depending on how your condition presents. You are likely to need round-the-clock care at this stage, and you may not be able to move around independently. Patients with late-stage Parkinsons disease are more susceptible to pneumonia, sepsis, pyelonephritis and decubitus ulcers. Late-stage Parkinsons also leads to Parkinsons disease dementia in 50% of cases. For all of these reasons, many late-stage Parkinsons patients are cared for by loved ones or in a hospice.
Don’t Miss: How Long Can Someone Live With Parkinson’s
Aggressive Treatment Options For Parkinsons Disease
If these earlier and less aggressive treatment options do not work, or if a person has an advanced case of Parkinsons Disease, then medical providers may recommend more aggressive interventions. The most aggressive intervention is deep brain stimulation. The patients brain id implanted with electrodes with deep brain stimulation . These electrodes register electric impulses/pulses.
Researchers note that this intervention helps control tremors and may help the body more effectively regulate its response to medication. However, it does not change the long-term trajectory of the disease.
People With Parkinson’s Get A Fighting Chance
Reclusive, depressed, anxious and insecure. Thats how Kent Galloway, who was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, four years ago, described himself just 10 short months ago. Blow by blow, Parkinsons had slowly robbed Kent of the ability to walk, think and move like he had before the diagnosis. And, he had no reason to believe anything would change. He only expected his symptoms to progress. When I was first diagnosed, I thought it was a death sentence, Kent said. I didnt know anything about the disease other than its what Michael J. Fox has.
Parkinsons, a degenerative brain disorder, has no known cause or cure. Its symptoms include unsteady walking, tremors and difficulty with body movements. Falls are common. The condition can also cause mood disturbances, problems with thinking, and memory loss.
Don’t Miss: Coffee And Parkinson’s Protection In The Making
In Home Care For Parkinsons Patients
Parkinsons disease affects the nervous system and, as the disease progresses, complications can deteriorate the overall condition of those diagnosed. It is common for those with Parkinsons to prefer staying at home as the disease progresses and in-home care for Parkinsons patients is a wonderful way to maintain quality of life.
- Caring for Symptoms In home care can address the symptoms of Parkinson patients focusing on quality of life and comfort. Parkinsons disease is not a death sentence and the symptoms of the disease are what usually end the life of those afflicted.
- Ruling Out Other Causes If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of PD you should consult your physician to rule out other causes that could be causing your symptoms.
- Mobility Issues Mobility can become difficult and cause functionality issues. Physical therapy, exercises that focus on strengthening and balance, and creating an atmosphere that is safe and easy to move in are excellent reasons to turn towards in home care professionals.
- Respite Care If you are the main caregiver for a loved one who has Parkinsons disease then it is imperative that you have time for yourself too. Focusing on nothing but caregiving can take a toll on your mental and physical health which is why bringing in someone to offer respite care can make everyones life better.
Motor Neurone Disease: Its Like Having A Death Sentence Hanging Over Your Family Express
BACKING CAMPAIGN: Mum Cris Hoskin, who has lost several members of her family to MND
A FAMILY that has lost six members to an inherited form of motor neurone disease has called for the Government to do more to remove the death sentence hanging over them. Cris Hoskin says she felt helpless as her two sons died from MND as a result of a familial gene passed down through the male descendants of her grandfather, who had symptoms of the disease at a time when little was known about it.
Her father, uncle and a cousin have also died all within a year of diagnosis and in most cases after just a few months.
Cris is backing a Sunday Express campaign calling for £50million government funding over five years to set up an MND Research Institute to co-ordinate national research to find effective treatments and, hopefully, a cure.
Read more at:
You May Like: What Are The Environmental Causes Of Parkinson Disease
Is Parkinsons Disease Fatal Life Expectancy For Parkinsons
Worried about your Parkinson’s disease life expectancy? A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis comes with many worries and anxieties. One worry concerns the progression of the disease and whether Parkinsons disease can be fatal. The issue is rarely straightforward, but there is no reason to think your condition is a death sentence. Many people live for years or decades with their Parkinsons disease symptoms under control, while the illness progresses more quickly for others. It’s important that you know what to expect when you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and air your concerns to your doctor. For now, let’s explore the issue of life expectancy of patients with Parkinson’s disease and address some common concerns.
‘not A Death Sentence’
When Felder was a high school senior, she experienced a slight shaking in her hand.
Her parents, Darlene and Craig, noticed that her usually expressive personality became more stoic and rigid. When she started having intense, persistent headaches, she began seeing specialists. Felder said it took four years to officially get the diagnosis.
On bad days, she is stiff and has trouble getting up. Sometimes she gets two Charley horses at once. She struggles with balance.
“You just have to run with it and figure out your next step,” said Felder.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation website, about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year. In Wisconsin, an estimated 15,000 people live with Parkinsons. Young Onset Parkinson’s affects about 4% of the estimated 1 million people nationwide with Parkinson’s.
Felder said she wants to educate that Parkinson’s does not just hit “old men” and that she can still live an active life for 20, 30 or 40 years.
“It is not a death sentence,” she said.
Her treatment plan includes medication, proper nutrition and stress management.
You May Like: What Can You Do For Parkinson’s Disease
Thanks For Signing Up
We are proud to have you as a part of our community. To ensure you receive the latest Parkinsons news, research updates and more, please check your email for a message from us. If you do not see our email, it may be in your spam folder. Just mark as not spam and you should receive our emails as expected.