Thursday, May 23, 2024

Parkinson’s And The Mind

Maintaining Your Normal Pd Medication Schedule

Parkinson’s Disease: How is the brain affected?

Maintaining your PD medication schedule is crucial for anyone with PD. The correct timing and dosage are essential to your comfort and well-being. However, oftentimes when undergoing surgery, there may be restrictions regarding when you can and cannot take medications. Here are a few tips to navigate this issue:

Tom Descending As The Disease Progression

Summarizing all of the literature cited in this review, the majority of studies report that PD patients in the early stages of the disease progression may have preserved affective ToM performances , even 10 years after disease onset , with mild difficulties sometimes emerging after 5 years . However, impairment of cognitive component in the ToM could be observed in both the early and moderate stage of the disease. It is believed that different areas of the frontal cortices may be responsible for differential ToM processes. There is some evidence to suggest that the ventromedial prefrontal regions are crucial for processing affective ToM , while the dorsolateral prefrontal ones have been implicated in cognitive ToM . Recently, it has been revealed that cognitive and affective subcomponents of ToM are linked to different frontostriatal circuitries , which are known to be affected by PD .

Figure 1

Piecing Together The Clues

While weve made phenomenal progress in understanding whats happening inside the brain in Parkinsons there is still a lot we dont understand.

One major question that scientists are grappling with is what goes wrong first? And how do all these different processes combine to cause Parkinsons?

Is it problems with mitochondria and energy production that cause recycling to stop working properly, which means proteins build up and this triggers inflammation? Or is it some other sequence?

Understanding this chain of events and how things fit together is crucial to figuring out where and when to intervene with new treatments. Do we need to create treatments that tackle all of them?

Another major question is: do the same things go wrong in the same way in everyone with Parkinsons?

We know that Parkinsons is a very individual and variable condition and that there may be different types. Could it be that actually different problems inside brain cells are causing these different forms of the condition? And do these different forms need different treatments?

There is still much more to learn and understand but what weve uncovered so far is already leading to treatments with the potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinsons.

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Executive Dysfunction In Parkinsons

Executive functions in cognition are higher-order mental processes, including the ability to plan, organize, initiate and regulate behavior to meet goals. Executive functioning is present in activities such as multitasking, switching tasks, and solving problems. The prefrontal cortex of the brain and the dopamine system are responsible for executive function. As PD damages these areas, executive dysfunction occurs, and executive dysfunction is one of the most common cognitive impairments found in people with PD.3,4

What Constitutes A Mind Diet

Study reveals roots of Parkinson

Another diet, known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet was designed to help treat and prevent high blood pressure. The DASH diet emphasizes many of the same principles as the Mediterranean diet.

More recently, experts suggested a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diet, meant to maximize cognitive benefits. It is entitled the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay or MIND diet. Past studies have investigated the cognitive benefits of this diet including one study which found that those who followed the MIND diet showed a slower decline in cognitive scores, and functioned cognitively as if they were 7.5 years younger than their counterparts who did not adhere to the diet.

The following constitutes the MIND diet:

  • Green, leafy vegetables

The following should be avoided in the MIND diet:

  • Red meat
  • Butter and stick margarine
  • Cheese

The principles of the MIND diet are very similar to the Mediterranean diet, with some notable additions. The MIND diet recommends green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale as the first choice over other vegetables. Berries are specifically promoted, as opposed to fruit in general. A small amount of red wine daily is also encouraged.

In the current study, each persons diet was calculated based on an extensive, validated, food-frequency questionnaire. The methods used in this study for scoring these questionnaires have been rigorously established.

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Learn More About Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons Disease: The Essentials

If youre new to Parkinsons disease and would like a good overview to help you better understand the disease, please view our Parkinsons Disease: The Essentials presentation. Its a great place to get started with reliable and concise information.


The exact cause of Parkinsons is still unknown, but there is an enormous amount of research being done to learn more. This research has led scientists to formulate a number of theories on the cause of this disease.


While there is no definitive test that can be taken to determine whether a person has Parkinsons disease, movement disorder specialists look for symptoms and use brain imaging technology to accurately diagnose Parkinsons.


Even though Parkinsons is classified as a movement disorderand its motor symptoms are the most discussed and well-knownthere are many non-motor symptoms that display in people with Parkinsons as well.


As of today, there is no cure for Parkinsons disease. But there are many ways in which the disease can be treated to make symptoms more manageable.

Attention Difficulties In Parkinsons

Attention involves filtering information, and people with PD who experience attention difficulties have trouble maintaining focus, especially as the complexity of a situation increases. Attention difficulties can affect both intellectual pursuits and everyday activities, such as walking and holding a conversation at the same time.1,3

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Relationship Between Cognitive Functions And Affective Theory Of Mind

To assess the relationship between cognitive functions and affective ToM, a series of OLS regressions was performed. To see if global cognitive status may be predictive of affective ToM, independent of PD presence, MoCA total scores were regressed on RMET scores, independent of PD presence, and also controlling for depression-anxiety symptomatology , age, and gender. The results showed that MoCA total scores were significant predictors of affective ToM , deficits in cognitive functioning predicting deficiencies in affective ToM. Next, multiple OLS regressions were conducted to investigate whether the six cognitive domains of MoCA could significantly predict affective ToM, independent of PD presence, and controlling for depression-anxiety symptoms, age and gender as well. While EF , VSA , and AT appeared to be significant predictors of affective ToM abilities, MEM, L and O did not . A multiple regression model containing all of three cognitive domains explained 64% of the variance and was a significant predictor of RMET scores . However, only VSA scores remained significant predictors of affective ToM when the other two variables were controlled for . Moreover, when MoCA total scores and VSA abilities were regressed together on RMET scores, global cognitive performance also lost its predictive value .

Managing Cognitive Impairments In Parkinsons

Parkinson’s disease – a journey through a brain

After a thorough evaluation to rule out other causes of cognitive impairment, patients with PD may be treated with medication, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy. The medications used to treat cognitive impairments in people with PD are based on treatments used for Alzheimers disease. Occupational therapy can help a person with PD by providing adaptive strategies for daily activities. Speech therapy can help with language functions, as well as information processing. 3,4

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What Does Parkinsons Do To The Brain

Deep down in your , theres an area called the substantia nigra, which is in the basal ganglia. Some of its cells make , a chemical that carries messages around your . When you need to scratch an or kick a ball, dopamine quickly carries a message to the nerve cell that controls that movement.

When that system is working well, your body moves smoothly and evenly. But when you have Parkinsons, the cells of your substantia nigra start to die. Theres no replacing them, so your dopamine levels drop and you cant fire off as many messages to control smooth body movements.

Early on, you wont notice anything different. But as more and more cells die, you reach a tipping point where you start to have symptoms.

That may not be until 80% of the cells are gone, which is why you can have Parkinsons for quite a while before you realize it.

General Anesthesia And Parkinsons Disease


Session Time: 1:45pm-3:15pm

Location: Exhibit Hall C

Objective: Postoperative cognitive dysfunction is common among the elderly. These changes may even be so severe that some elderly people actually become demented after undergoing an operation. There was minimal evidence to support continued postoperative cognitive decline beyond 5 years or more. The aim of this study is to explore whether general anesthesia impact the incidence of Parkinsons disease in nationwide population.

Background: Parkinsons disease is one of the important diseases among older population and leads to disability. The exact mechanism of PD is variant. Whether general anesthesia is a potential risk factor for the development of PD is controversial. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the association between previous exposure to different types of GA and the incidence of PD.

Methods: Using claims data of 1,000,000 insured residents covered in the national health insurance, we enrolled 4,931 newly diagnosed dementia cases with age more than 50 years-old in 2005-2009. The control group of 19,720 individuals without PD was matched for age, gender, and index date. GA were categorized as three subtypes, including endotracheal tube intubation general anesthesia , intravenous injection general anesthesia or intramuscular injection general anesthesia , and heavy sedation. Multivariate logistic regression model was used for analyses.

To cite this abstract in AMA style:

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General Approach To Management

The primary goal in the management of PD is to treat the symptomatic motor and nonmotor features of the disorder, with the objective of improving the patients overall quality of life. Appropriate management requires an initial evaluation and diagnosis by a multidisciplinary team consisting of neurologists, primary care practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and pharmacists., It is also important that the patient and his or her family have input into management decisions.

Effective management should include a combination of nonpharmacological and pharmacological strategies to maximize clinical outcomes. To date, therapies that slow the progression of PD or provide a neuroprotective effect have not been identified., Current research has focused on identifying biomarkers that may be useful in the diagnosis of early disease and on developing future disease-modifying interventions.,

Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease

What brain areas are affected by Parkinsons?  Parkinson ...

Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Exactly what causes the loss of nerve cells is unclear. Most experts think that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible.

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Parkinsons Doesnt Always Cause Dementia

While cognitive decline is common in both Alzheimers and Parkinsons, it is less likely to occur in Parkinsons patients. According to studies, only half of those with Parkinsons develop cognitive difficulties. This can range from mild forgetfulness to full-blown dementia.

When dementia does manifest itself with Parkinson, it occurs in the subcortical area of the brain. Alzheimers dementia occurs in the cortical area of the brain. As a result of this, the clinical symptoms of these two dementias can be somewhat different.

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What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms

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 Parkinsons. 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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Is Parkinson’s Diagnosed In The Brain

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most challenging neurological disorders to diagnose and treat. If your doctor suspects you have Parkinson’s disease, you will usually be referred to a neurologist for further tests. These tests will involve certain movements and exercises to check your symptoms.

A neurologist will look for motor symptoms such as:

  • A tremor that occurs at rest
  • Slowed movement
  • Muscle stiffness

If you have two or more of these symptoms and your doctor has taken blood tests to rule out other causes, it’s likely you will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Your symptoms will be closely monitored to see any progression of Parkinson’s disease, which can take years.

Risk Factors Associated With Parkinson’s Disease

Power Of Music On The Brain | Dementia & Parkinson’s
  • Age: This is the most significant risk factor for the condition since most people develop it after the age of 60.
  • Family history: Having a family history of this condition can raise your chances of getting it.
  • Sex: 50% more men than women develop Parkinsons disease.
  • Exposure to pesticides and toxins: Air pollution, pesticides, and certain industrial pollutants are linked to an increased risk of Parkinsons disease.
  • Head injury: Having a head injury can lead to lower dopamine levels, particularly in people who have also been exposed to pesticides.

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Age At Disease Onset Results In Distinct Speech Patterns

Results from a Phase 2 trial , reported this year, showed that nilotinib approved to treat certain types of leukemia was safe and led to a dose-dependent increase in dopamine, the chemical messenger essential for muscle control that is lost in Parkinsons. Its use also slowed both motor and non-motor decline in patients treated long term with nilotinib at 300 miligrams , this studys highest dose.

Nilotinib, available under the brand name Tasigna for leukemia patients, works by blocking the activity of a protein called BCR-ABL that is known to support cancer development. However, this protein is also linked to several mechanisms in the brain, such as oxidative stress and alpha-synuclein-induced neurodegeneration, which play critical roles in Parkinsons disease.

To understand the potential mechanisms underlying benefits found in the Phase 2 study, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center which sponsored that trial analyzed the cerebrospinal fluid of 75 study participants with moderately severe Parkinsons.

Patients had been randomly assigned to one of two oral daily doses of nilotinib 150 mg and 300 mg or to a placebo for one year. Samples from the CSF were collected after one year of treatment.

Following a three-month washout period, 63 patients were once again randomly assigned to the same treatment regimen nilotinib 150 mg or 300 mg or a placebo for an additional year in an open-label study extension. In total, the trial ran for 27 months.

How Is A Diagnosis Made

Because other conditions and medications mimic the symptoms of PD, getting an accurate diagnosis from a physician is important. No single test can confirm a diagnosis of PD, because the symptoms vary from person to person. A thorough history and physical exam should be enough for a diagnosis to be made. Other conditions that have Parkinsons-like symptoms include Parkinsons plus, essential tremor, progressive supranuclear palsy, multi-system atrophy, dystonia, and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

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New Treatments Available Soon

Advances in Parkinsons disease research benefit patients. New molecules should arrive on the market very soon. Among them, a drug to prolong the effects of L-dopa is eagerly awaited. This new treatment, available in 2 or 3 years, can be taken in a single dose, which will provide more comfort to patients, explains Professor Marie Vidailhet.

The ways in which drugs are administered are also changing. To prevent patients from swallowing a host of pills, patches or transcutaneous pumps have been developed. These devices allow the drug to be continuously instilled into the body of the person, a bit like the insulin pump in diabetics, describes the neurologist. These technologies called apomorphine pump or pen are increasingly used by patients, especially those who experience fluctuations in the effectiveness of treatments.

The Nervous System & Dopamine

Parkinsons disease: Deep Brain Stimulation

To understand Parkinsons, it is helpful to understand how neurons work and how PD affects the brain .

Nerve cells, or neurons, are responsible for sending and receiving nerve impulses or messages between the body and the brain. Try to picture electrical wiring in your home. An electrical circuit is made up of numerous wires connected in such a way that when a light switch is turned on, a light bulb will beam. Similarly, a neuron that is excited will transmit its energy to neurons that are next to it.

Neurons have a cell body with branching arms, called dendrites, which act like antennae and pick up messages. Axons carry messages away from the cell body. Impulses travel from neuron to neuron, from the axon of one cell to the dendrites of another, by crossing over a tiny gap between the two nerve cells called a synapse. Chemical messengers called neurotransmitters allow the electrical impulse to cross the gap.

Neurons talk to each other in the following manner :

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