Alzheimers Vs Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
The dementia of Parkinsons disease has some similarities to the dementia of Alzheimers disease. And there are some differences, too. Alzheimers disease causes dementia slowly over time, while the dementia of Parkinsons disease often develops more quickly and dramatically.
The symptoms of Parkinsons dementia can come and go from day to day, while the symptoms of Alzheimers dementia will not go away.
The Life Expectancy Is Unpredictable For Patients With Parkinsons Disease
There are cases when people were diagnosed with Parkinsons and had lived for several years after their initial diagnosis. The patient needs to understand that Parkinsons disease is a progressive disease that gets worse with time. And there is no assuring cure for it.
The rate of its growth also differs from person to person. Medical research is conducting extensive research to find a cure. However, a lot has yet to be discovered.
The symptoms can be controlled or slowed down through surgical interventions, medicines, and therapeutic methodologies, such as rigidity, tremors, slowness of movements, etc. With time the patient might face other difficulties, such as losing his sense of smell and sound and facing great hardships in completing his activities of daily living.
In the past, when there was not sufficient medical research on Parkinsons or it was still in progress, the average life expectancy was only 10 years. But after the discovery of levodopa, the expectancy increased.
And now, the life expectancy of a Parkinsons patient has significantly improved due to many medical advances and research. Many believed that if the symptoms were controlled, the patient might have a chance of living a longer life.
What Is The Treatment For Parkinsons Disease
There is currently no treatment to cure Parkinsons disease. Several therapies are available to delay the onset of motor symptoms and to ameliorate motor symptoms. All of these therapies are designed to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain either by replacing dopamine, mimicking dopamine, or prolonging the effect of dopamine by inhibiting its breakdown. Studies have shown that early therapy in the non-motor stage can delay the onset of motor symptoms, thereby extending quality of life.
The most effective therapy for Parkinsons disease is levodopa , which is converted to dopamine in the brain. However, because long-term treatment with levodopa can lead to unpleasant side effects , its use is often delayed until motor impairment is more severe. Levodopa is frequently prescribed together with carbidopa , which prevents levodopa from being broken down before it reaches the brain. Co-treatment with carbidopa allows for a lower levodopa dose, thereby reducing side effects.
In earlier stages of Parkinsons disease, substances that mimic the action of dopamine , and substances that reduce the breakdown of dopamine inhibitors) can be very efficacious in relieving motor symptoms. Unpleasant side effects of these preparations are quite common, including swelling caused by fluid accumulation in body tissues, drowsiness, constipation, dizziness, hallucinations, and nausea.
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The Last Year Of Life In Parkinsons Disease
The study also examined nearly 45,000 hospitalizations in people with terminal Parkinsons, meaning their end-of-life period.
Of those with terminal PD, the most common reasons for being in the hospital were:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease that was not from an infection
Less common causes for hospitalization were problems related to the stomach or intestines, muscles, nervous system, or endocrine system .
It is not surprising that infection was the most common hospitalization before death, as people with Parkinsons are vulnerable to developing a number of infections as a result of their disease. For example, bladder dysfunction in Parkinsons increases a persons risk of developing urinary tract infections, which can become life-threatening if not detected and treated promptly.
In addition, research suggests that aspiration pneumonia is 3.8 times more common in people with Parkinsons as compared to the general population. It has also been consistently reported to be the main cause of death in people with Parkinsons.
Aspiration pneumonia results from underlying swallowing difficulties, which leads to stomach contents being inhaled into the lungs. Immobilization and rigidity, which can impair phlegm removal, also contribute to the development of pneumonia in people with Parkinsons.
Young Onset Parkinsons : An Introduction
Although the average age to develop Parkinsons is around 60, young onset Parkinsons occurs in 5-10% of people diagnosed. 20% are under the age of 50. Some challenges in Parkinsons are universal, regardless of age, but there are a number of issues specific to younger people.
Generally, Parkinsons proceeds more slowly in younger people. While no two people are the same, someone whose onset age is 40 can expect to work for another 15-20 years on average. For someone with an onset age of 60, the average figure would be half that. These figures are based on the kinds of treatment available today. Future treatment will be even more effective in prolonging the productive life of people with Parkinsons.
Larry Gifford hosts a panel discussion on Living Well with Young Onset Parkinsons in May of 2020.
The following characteristics tend to be present in young onset Parkinsons:
- Young onset Parkinsons is less likely to lead to dementia and balance problems
- It is more likely to include focal dystonia, which is cramping or abnormal posturing of one part of the body.
- Younger people are more sensitive to the benefits of Parkinson medications, but they tend to experience the dyskinetic side effects of levodopa sooner than older people.
- They also tend to experience dose-related fluctuations at an earlier stage of the disease, including wearing off* and the on-off effect. See Parkinson Canada Information Sheet, Parkinsons Medications: What you need to know!
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How Long Can A Person Live With Parkinsons Disease
The first thing to understand when seeking an estimate regarding life expectancy for any patient is that the answer is never definite. Each person is different and there is no formula for determining exactly how quickly a chronic disease will progress, how seriously it will affect the body, or whether additional complications may develop along the way.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder. Characteristics of Parkinsons disease are progressive loss of muscle control, which leads to trembling of the limbs and head while at rest, stiffness, slowness, and impaired balance. As symptoms worsen, it may become difficult to walk, talk, and complete simple tasks.
The progression of Parkinson’s disease and the degree of impairment varies from person to person. Many people with Parkinson’s disease live long productive lives, whereas others become disabled much more quickly. Complications of Parkinsons such as falling-related injuries or pneumonia. However, studies of patent populations with and without Parkinsons Disease suggest the life expectancy for people with the disease is about the same as the general population.
Most people who develop Parkinson’s disease are 60 years of age or older. Since overall life expectancy is rising, the number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease will increase in the future. Adult-onset Parkinson’s disease is most common, but early-onset Parkinson’s disease , and juvenile-onset Parkinson’s disease can occur.
Primary symptoms include: Tremor Stiffness, Slowness, Impaired balance, Shuffling gait later in the disease
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What Does Kill People With Parkinsons
While no one dies directly from Parkinsons, you may be asking yourself what does typically cause death in Parkinsons patients. The two of the biggest causes of death for people with Parkinsons are Falls and Pneumonia:
Falls Parkinsons patients are typically at an increased risk of falls due to postural instability and other symptoms of Parkinsons. This poses a great risk to those with PD because falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among those 65 years or older according to the CDC. It is important to take precautions to limit the risk of falling in your home. This can be done by wearing special grip socks to prevent slipping or installing handrails in high-risk areas like the shower or staircase. In addition, you should talk with your doctor about getting a physical therapy evaluation periodically to strengthen your balance reflexes and help you develop other strategies to keep you safe in the home.
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Parkinsons disease is a degenerative condition, meaning the effects on your brain get worse over time. However, this condition usually takes time to get worse. Most people have a normal life span with this condition.
You’ll need little to no help in the earlier stages and can keep living independently. As the effects worsen, youll need medication to limit how the symptoms affect you. Most medications, especially levodopa, are moderately or even very effective once your provider finds the minimum dose you need to treat your symptoms.
Most of the effects and symptoms are manageable with treatment, but the treatments become less effective and more complicated over time. Living independently will also become more and more difficult as the disease worsens.
How long does Parkinsons disease last?
Parkinsons disease isnt curable, which means its a permanent, life-long condition.
Whats the outlook for Parkinsons disease?
Parkinson’s disease isn’t fatal, but the symptoms and effects are often contributing factors to death. The average life expectancy for Parkinson’s disease in 1967 was a little under 10 years. Since then, the average life expectancy has increased by about 55%, rising to more than 14.5 years. That, combined with the fact that Parkinson’s diagnosis is much more likely after age 60, means this condition doesn’t often affect your life expectancy by more than a few years .
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Cleveland Clinic Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute Cardiologists And Surgeons
Choosing a doctor to treat your abnormal heart rhythm depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. The following Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Sections and Departments treat patients with Arrhythmias:
- Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing: cardiology evaluation for medical management or electrophysiology procedures or devices – Call Cardiology Appointments at toll-free 800.223.2273, extension 4-6697 or request an appointment online.
- Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: surgery evaluation for surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation, epicardial lead placement, and in some cases if necessary, lead and device implantation and removal. For more information, please contact us.
- You may also use our MyConsult second opinion consultation using the Internet.
The Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute has specialized centers to treat certain populations of patients:
Ways To Increase Life Expectancy For Seniors With Parkinsons
The good news is seniors can take measures to reduce the risk of death. Having the right treatment and care makes a major difference in Parkinsons disease outcomes. Medication can slow the progression of the disease while helping seniors retain their coordination and prevent falls. In the later stages, helping seniors move around and providing them with blood-thinning medications can reduce blood clot risks.
Professional caregivers can be a wonderful source of support for seniors with Parkinsons who need help with transportation, exercising safely, and completing daily tasks. Families looking for top-rated Anchorage home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimers, dementia, stroke, and Parkinsons care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at 770-0907 today.
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Parkinson’s Disease Diet And Nutrition
Maintaining Your Weight With Parkinson’s Disease
Malnutrition and weight maintenance is often an issue for people with Parkinson’s disease. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Weigh yourself once or twice a week, unless your doctor recommends weighing yourself often. If you are taking diuretics or steroids, such as prednisone, you should weigh yourself daily.
- If you have an unexplained weight gain or loss , contact your doctor. He or she may want to modify your food or fluid intake to help manage your condition.
- Avoid low-fat or low-calorie products. . Use whole milk, whole milk cheese, and yogurt.
A Final Word Of Encouragement And Advice For Parkinsons Disease
So, is Parkinsons fatal? Can you die from Parkinsons? The answer is no. Being diagnosed with Parkinsons is scary but it is not a death sentence. There are many things you can do to manage the symptoms of Parkinsons to help minimize any risks associated with its symptoms and live a full happy life. So, lets get out there and fight back against Parkinsons!
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How Will The Person With Advanced Pd Experience Death
The journey for every person with PD will be different. Their symptoms, disease progression, access to medical care, and their concurrent medical issues may vary widely and play a role in their life and their death with PD. As described above, the person with advanced PD typically dies from an event that occurs on top of the increasing levels of frailty and disability that build up over time. That event may be a fall, an infection, a choking event, or another medical issue that leads to a hospitalization and causes a more precipitous decline.
Regardless of the cause, when a neurologist assesses that the possibility of death within a particular time frame is likely, hospice care can be initiated. This is different from palliative care, which is a clinical approach that focuses on improving quality of life for people with complex diseases. Palliative care can begin at any point during the disease progression and work in conjunction with the treatment plan. Hospice care, on the other hand, is provided to improve the quality of life when end of life is near.
In summary, while it is true that PD in and of itself is not fatal in the same way that a rupture of a brain aneurysm or a massive heart attack may be , the disability caused by PD can contribute to death in a variety of ways as outlined above. Educating yourself on the various possibilities and areas of concern may help you better prepare for the future, minimize some risks, and possibly enhance or prolong quality of life.
What Are The Principles Of End Of Life Care
These principles are useful to guide health and social care professionals in the delivery of best practice, high quality end of life care for people with Parkinsons.
Principles of end of life care
A focus on quality of life involves good symptom control, relief from pain and other distressing symptoms.
A whole person approach takes into account the persons past life experience and current situation.
The care of people with Parkinsons and those who matter to that person promotes an awareness of the needs of the family and/or carer due to major changes in their life.
Respect for the person with Parkinsons and their autonomy and choice recognises that timely information promotes educated choices about treatment options, and allows discussion about advanced care documents and preferred place of care.
Open and sensitive communication will prompt discussion on advance care planning issues, personal feelings and family relationships. It is important that family and/or carers have their opportunity to express their feelings too.
Reflect on these principles of palliative and end of life care within your care setting. In your reflection log, record the key words that you believe summarise how you would approach palliative and end of life care.
In your reflection you may have considered the following:
Multidisciplinary team approach the skill mix of the team will be used to manage the clients and their familys needs.
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How Is Pd Treated
PD cannot be cured. The goal of treatment is to help manage your symptoms. You may need any of the following:
- Medicines may be used to improve movement problems, such as muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness. Your healthcare provider may use several types of medicine to help manage your symptoms.
- Botulinum toxin helps control problems such as tremors, bladder or bowel problems, trouble swallowing, and drooling.
- Surgery may be used to place an electrical device inside your brain during surgery called deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation may help to decrease symptoms, such as tremor and rigidity. When the device is in your brain, you may turn the device on or off whenever you want.
The Role Of Dementia And Age
Dementia also plays an important role in survival with Parkinson’s. By the end of the above study, nearly 70% of the population with Parkinson’s had been diagnosed with dementia, and those with dementia had a lower survival rate as compared to those without.
This means that those with dementia were more likely to die during the six-year period than those without dementia. In addition, scientific studies have shown that increasing age is linked to an increased risk of death.
It’s important to remember that how a person’s Parkinson’s disease manifests and progresses is variable, and a person’s neurologist cannot accurately predict individual life expectancy.
There are simply no key signs or symptoms that allow a healthcare provider to perfectly predict longevity. An older age and the presence of dementia are simply associated with an increased risk of dying.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s
The main motor symptoms of Parkinsons are:
- slowness of movement
- problems with balance.
However, the condition does not only affect movement. People living with the condition can experience a range of non-motor symptoms that can often have a greater impact on their lives than movement difficulties.
Non-motor symptoms include:
- urinary urgency, frequency
These non-motor symptoms are present at all stages of the condition but they can become more severe in the later stages of Parkinsons and have a major impact on quality of life.
Parkinsons gets worse over time and it can be difficult to predict how quickly the condition will progress. For most people, it can take years for the condition to progress to a point where it can cause major problems. For others, Parkinsons may progress more quickly.