Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease
Approximately one million Americans have Parkinson’s disease, including three out of every 100 people over the age of 60. Over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year. There is increasing evidence that Parkinson’s disease may be inherited . Men are slightly more likely to develop the disease than women.
The average age at which it is diagnosed is 60. However, about 4% of those with Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed before age 50, and about half of those are diagnosed before age 40. When the diagnosis is made early, it is referred to as “young-onset” Parkinson’s disease.
Demographic Characteristics Of Patients
In The program of multi-centre real-word comprehensive study of anti-PD drugs in China, a total of 96,422 prescription records were extracted from 8,420 outpatients. Among them, 1,134 patients aged 21-50 years, accounting for 13.5% of the PD cohort. The demographic characteristics of patients with YOPD in the year-interval are shown in Table 1. Males accounted for 53.6% of all patients with YOPD. In each year, from 2014 to 2019, patients with YOPD aged 4150 years accounted for the largest proportion . Mental and behavioural disorders and nervous system diseases were the most common comorbidities, with depression/anxiety being the most frequent one.
TABLE 1. Demographic characteristics of patients with young-onset Parkinsons disease from 2014 to 2019 based on each year.
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.
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Early Onset/young Onset Parkinson’s
Parkinsons can occur at any age. Early onset Parkinson’s, also known as young onset Parkinsons , is defined as occurring in someone below the age of 40. Research suggests that genetics may play more of a role in early or young onset than in people who are diagnosed over the age of 40.
In early or young onset Parkinson’s, the symptoms you experience and how you respond to medication may differ slightly from older onset, although for some people these can be very similar.
Motor symptoms generally respond well to medication in both young and older onset Parkinsons. In early or young onset, motor fluctuations such as dyskinesia and wearing off tend to occur earlier but they generally progress more slowly. This is thought to be due to the most commonly prescribed medication, levodopa, and for this reason, young onset is usually treated initially with alternatives to levodopa such as MAO-B inhibitors or dopamine agonists. Levodopa is generally only added in when other medications do not provide adequate symptom control.
Dystonia is also a more common early motor symptom in early or young onset, whereas some of the non-motor symptoms that occur in older onset Parkinsons, such as memory problems, are less common.
Deep brain stimulation has also been shown to be effective at an earlier stage of Parkinsons if medication no longer controls motor symptoms so well, and you may want to discuss this option with your care team. See Deep brain stimulation.
Why A Mitochondrial Defect Was Sought In Pd
In light of the phenotypic similarity between PD and MPTP-induced parkinsonism in humans and the fact that the MPP+ is a poison of the oxidative phosphorylation, many investigators have been prompted to search for mitochondrial respiratory defects in PD patients. Despite the fact that parkinsonism is hardly associated with genuine mitochondrial diseases, less than a decade later, as discussed in the next section, this idea has gained major enthusiasm among PD researchers.
O. Klepitskaya, in, 2010
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Tips For Caring For Someone With Parkinsons Disease
Caring for a loved one with early onset Parkinsons can be difficult. If youre a caregiver for someone with this condition, its important that you remember your own emotional and physical health.
Not only are you dealing with a difficult diagnosis, youre also managing an increased number of responsibilities. Burnout is common in caregivers, so make sure youre checking in with your own needs.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation Center for Parkinsons Research recommends these tips for caregivers:
Stooping Or Hunching Over
Are you not standing up as straight as you used to? If you or your family or friends notice that you seem to be stooping, leaning or slouching when you stand, it could be a sign of Parkinsons disease .
What is normal?If you have pain from an injury or if you are sick, it might cause you to stand crookedly. Also, a problem with your bones can make you hunch over.
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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 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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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.
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Caring For Your Health With Parkinsons Disease
In addition to caring for your Parkinsons health, it is also important to care for your overall health. This means visiting your primary care physician periodically for preventive care like the annual flu shot and cancer screeningsfor example, a mammogram for breast cancer screening and a colonoscopy for colon cancer screening.
A primary care physician can also evaluate for risk factors related to heart attacks and strokes, and provide counseling on exercise, smoking, alcohol use, depression, or other mental health concerns. Regular visits to your primary care physician or neurologist will also allow them to catch bacterial infections like urinary tract infections before they get serious.
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Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited
Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.
There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.
Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.
Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.
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Study Variables And Outcomes
The study examined different time variables and their relation to PD progression. The five main time variables considered were age at PD onset, age at PD diagnosis, age at baseline, years since PD onset, and years since PD diagnosis. PD onset was defined as self-reported onset of motor symptoms while time variables related to age and diagnosis were defined based on central registers.
This study included symptom-based outcomes, HRQoL outcomes, and treatment outcomes. The symptom-based outcomes were investigated using the following scales Clinical Impression of Severity Index for Parkinson’s Disease with a total score ranging from 036, with higher scores indicating higher levels of disability), Modified Hoehn & Yahr staging , and Non-Motor Symptom Questionnaire . In addition, dystonia and daily dystonia time were evaluated along with freezing of gait and off fluctuations. The HRQoL outcomes were investigated using the Eight-item Parkinsons Disease Questionnaire and the EQ-5D-3 level version , including the EQ-5D-3L visual analogue scale . Treatment outcomes were extracted using data on filled prescriptions. The treatment outcomes included average daily levodopa dose, averaged LEDD and number of different dopaminergic agents the patient had been exposed to at a given visit. Current or former use of individual drugs or drug types within the group of dopaminergic agents were also considered as outcomes at baseline following the convention described in the previous section.
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.
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Seven Signs Of Early Onset Parkinsons
There are a series of symptoms that can alert us to the early onset of Parkinsons disease. There are more signs, but were going to focus on these seven:
- Sleep disorders. The most common disorders are insomnia , restless legs syndrome, and REM sleep behavior disorder.
- Depression. This is one of the first symptoms to appear and is in fact considered an early indicator of the disease.
- Other mood changes. In addition to depressive symptoms, anxiety and apathy are very common. These symptoms can negatively influence the desire to seek help and resolution.
- Cognitive changes. Many people with early onset Parkinsons usually find it difficult to do more than one thing at once. Poor task execution, slower thinking speed, attention and concentration problems, memory problems, and dementia are all symptoms of early onset Parkinsons.
- Tremors. Although they usually start in the hands, they start in the jaw or on the feet in other patients. The most characteristic thing about these tremors is that they occur at rest.
- Bradykinesia. This is a gradual loss of spontaneous movement. General movement simply slows down. This is one of the most disabling and frustrating symptoms for those affected.
- Fatigue. With early onset Parkinsons, the patient feels tired all the time without having exerted themselves at all.
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Establishing Pd Research Priorities
The NINDS-organized Parkinsons Disease 2014: Advancing Research, Improving Lives conference brought together researchers, clinicians, patients, caregivers, and nonprofit organizations to develop 31 prioritized recommendations for research on PD. These recommendations are being implemented through investigator-initiated grants and several NINDS programs. NINDS and the NIHs National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences held the Parkinsons Disease: Understanding the Environment and Gene Connection workshop to identify priorities for advancing research on environmental contributors to PD.
Research recommendations for Lewy Body Dementia, including Parkinsons disease dementia, were updated during the NIH Alzheimers Disease-Related Dementias Summit 2019 .
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Signs Of Early Onset Of Parkinsons Disease
Early onset of Parkinsons disease begins before the age of 50. It is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nervous system. It causes damage and subsequent deterioration of the neurons located in the black matter. The average age for onset of Parkinsons is 60, and the cases increase significantly with age. However, about 5 to 10 percent of people with Parkinsons disease experience early onset of Parkinsons before they turn 50.
Mutations of certain genes, such as the Parkin gene, can contribute to its early onset. People with one or more close family members with Parkinsons are at greater risk of developing the disease.
Overall, the risk of developing the disease is only 2 to 5 percent, unless the disease is part of family history. It is estimated that between 15 and 25 percent of people with Parkinsons know that they have a family member with the disease.
In very rare cases, the symptoms of Parkinsons may occur in people under the age of 20. This is known as youthful Parkinsons. It usually begins with the symptoms of dystonia and bradykinesia. The drug, levodopa, can often improve these symptoms.
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How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed
Diagnosis is difficult at every stage of the disease, but particularly in the early stages. No single test can provide a diagnosis. A diagnosis will likely involve physical and neurological examinations, conducted over time to assess changes in reflexes, coordination, muscle strength, and mental function. Your doctor might also see how you respond to medicine.
You may need to have brain imaging tests to rule out other conditions that might be causing your symptoms. Such tests could include MRI and CT scans and possibly some other types of scans. Blood tests may also be done to exclude other illnesses.
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Can You Be Too Young To Get Parkinsons Disease
The majority of people who get Parkinsons Disease are over the age of 60. However, 10 to 20 percent of the 60,000 people diagnosed every year in the United States are under age 50 and about half of those are diagnosed before age 40.
Rebecca Gilbert, American Parkinson Disease Association
Because PD is typically associated with older individuals, the disease is often overlooked in younger people, according to Rebecca Gilbert, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer for the American Parkinson Disease Association . She said that that can lead to many being undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for extended periods of time.
We dont yet have a prevention or cure for Parkinsons, so a later diagnosis does not mean missing out on any curative therapies, she said. However, knowing you have the disease as early as possible gives you a leg up in terms of educating yourself, understanding how the disease progresses and learning the benefits of neuroprotective exercises that can also ease symptoms.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects mobility and mental ability. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinsons, you may be wondering about life expectancy.
According to some research, on average, people with Parkinsons can expect to live almost as long as those who dont have the condition.
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What Is Early Onset Parkinsons Disease
Early onset PD is diagnosed between the ages of 21-50. While symptoms of the disease are mostly the same at whatever age PD develops, younger people experience the disease differently due to their unique life circumstances. Disease progression is usually slower in younger than older people because younger people have fewer general health problems and are more capable during physical therapy treatment. Other problems associated with PD, such as memory loss, confusion, and balance difficulties also tend to be less frequent in young people with the disease.
Symptoms of young onset PD are similar to those of older-onset disease and include motor or movement symptoms such as:
- Tremor a slow, rhythmic shaking that occurs at rest. It typically starts in one hand, foot or leg and often progresses to affect both sides of the body.
- Rigidity a tightness or stiffness of the limbs or torso.
- Bradykinesia slow movement, often demonstrated by problems with fine motor coordination, as well as decreased blinking with a mask-like expression of the face.
- Balance problems inability to prevent a fall when thrown off balance.
People with early onset Parkinsons can also experience non-motor symptoms including depression and anxiety, loss of smell, eye and vision issues, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, sleep problems, excess sweating and urinary issues.