Personality Changes In The Elderly
Minor personality changes in older adults, such as becoming more irritable or agitated, are not unusual. Extreme personality changes, such as a passive person becoming very controlling, could be a sign of dementia due to changes in the brains frontal lobe.
A 2016 study suggests that older adults have different personality traits than those of younger people. For example, neuroticism tended to increase in adults in their 80s.
Some people may revert to a younger age as they grow older. This could be a sign of depression or a way to cope with aging.
Exploring Hypersexual Behavior In Men With Parkinson’s Disease: Is It Compulsive Sexual Behavior
Article type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Urology, Sexual Medicine Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel | Department of Neurology, Parkinson Disease & Movement Disorders Clinic, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel | Tel-Aviv University, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Note: Correspondence to: Gila Bronner, Sexual Medicine Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Isreal. Office Tel.: +972 3 5305970 Tel.: +972 52 2590161/+972 3 6770297 Office Fax: +972 3 5303472 E-mail:
Keywords: Sexual dysfunction, hypersexuality, hypersexual behavior, compulsive sexual behavior, erectile dysfunction, Parkinson’s disease, diagnosis
Journal: Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 225-234, 2012
Parkinson’s Personality Traits And Medications
People with Parkinson’s tend not to smoke or to engage in other risky health behaviors until they are medicated with dopamine agonists, which are Parkinson’s disease drugs that mimic the effects of dopamine in the brain.
In some people, these drugs actually lead to another personality change: the person taking them starts to take too many risks, perhaps by gambling or engaging in unusual sexual behavior. This personality turnaround may be dramatic and even could threaten the well-being of the person with Parkinson’s and his or her family.
Therefore, it’s important to be aware of potential personality changes when starting a new drug for Parkinson’s disease.
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Personality Changes With Dementia
Dementia, which is caused by illness or injury, is an impairment of at least two cognitive brain functions.
Cognitive brain functions include:
The loss of neurons in the frontal lobe of the brain can cause people with mild dementia to experience personality changes such as becoming more withdrawn or depressed.
People with moderate dementia may experience more significant personality changes, such as becoming agitated and suspicious of others.
Drug Therapy And Research
If the disease progresses beyond minor symptoms, drug treatment may be indicated. Drug therapy for Parkinsonâs typically provides relief for 10â15 years or more. The most commonly prescribed medication is L-dopa , and this helps replenish some of the depleted dopamine in the brain. Sinemet, a combination of levodopa and carbidopa, is the drug most doctors use to treat Parkinsonâs disease. Recent clinical studies have suggested, in the younger person, the class of drugs called âdopamine agonistsâ should be used prior to levodopa-carpidopa except in patients with cognitive problems or hallucinations. In those older than 75, dopamine agonists should be used cautiously because of an added risk of hallucinations.
Other drugs are also used, and new drugs are continually being tested. It is common for multiple drugs to be prescribed because many of them work well together to control symptoms and reduce side effects. Contrary to past beliefs, starting Sinemet in newly diagnosed people does not lead to early symptoms of dyskinesia . Current knowledge is that the disease progression causes dyskinesias, not a âresistanceâ to the drug.
Quality of life studies show that early treatment with dopaminergic medications improves daily functioning, prevents falls, and improves a personâs sense of well-being.
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Exercise And Medical Interventions
Research has demonstrated the benefits of exercise for patients with PD. Not only have exercise programs been shown to improve motor function and reduce the risk of falls, but they also improve overall quality of life and possibly slow the course of the disease.
Fatigue is associated with lower diastolic blood pressureFatigue is a common debilitating symptom in PD. A 2019 study by researchers at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System and University of Michigan found that symptoms of fatigue in PD patients were associated with small reductions in diastolic blood pressure throughout the day. Diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
The investigators assessed hourly home blood pressures in 35 people with PD. They then asked the study participants to describe any symptoms of fatigue. The patients with fatigue symptoms had lower mean diastolic blood pressure than those without. The differences in pressure were most notable in the morning.
Fatigue is a complex condition. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie PD fatigue can help scientists find new treatment approaches, wrote the researchers. Fatigue experienced by PD patients could be a clinical manifestation of low blood pressure, they say.
Researchers taught an adapted version of the Argentine tango to 20 people with mild to moderate PD. Over three weeks, participants completed 15 dance lessons, each lasting 90 minutes.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Parkinsons Disease
Medications are the main treatment method for patients with Parkinsons disease. Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan best suited for you based on the severity of your disease at the time of diagnosis, side effects of the drug class and success or failure of symptom control of the medications you try.
Medications combat Parkinsons disease by:
- Helping nerve cells in the brain make dopamine.
- Mimicking the effects of dopamine in the brain.
- Blocking an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain.
- Reducing some specific symptoms of Parkinsons disease.
Levodopa: Levodopa is a main treatment for the slowness of movement, tremor, and stiffness symptoms of Parkinsons disease. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine, which replenishes the low amount found in the brain of persons with Parkinsons disease. Levodopa is usually taken with carbidopa to allow more levodopa to reach the brain and to prevent or reduce the nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure and other side effects of levodopa. Sinemet® is available in an immediate release formula and a long-acting, controlled release formula. Rytary® is a newer version of levodopa/carbidopa that is a longer-acting capsule. The newest addition is Inbrija®, which is inhaled levodopa. It is used by people already taking regular carbidopa/levodopa for when they have off episodes .
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Irrational Impulsive Or Inappropriate Behavior
Some behavior changes are caused by damage to the brains executive functioning, which contributes to our memory, critical thinking, and self-control. When a stroke damages the areas of the brain that contribute to executive functioning, such as the frontal lobe, it can result in behavior changes such as irrational or inappropriate behavior.
Impulsiveness in particular is often associated with both frontal lobe strokes and a stroke in the temporal lobe, which plays a role in judgement and decision-making, particularly when the right side is affected.
Causes Of Personality Changes
Grief, bad news, and disappointment can cause a normally happy person to become downtrodden. Sometimes, a persons mood can be altered for weeks or months after hearing devastating news. However, mood changes arent the same as personality changes.
However, some people experience unusual or strange behavior for years, which may occur due to an illness or injury. A person may experience a change in their demeanor after experiencing a traumatic situation or witnesses an unpleasant event.
These behavioral changes may be caused by a mental health condition, such as:
Medical conditions that cause a fluctuation in hormone levels can also cause strange or unusual behavior. These conditions include:
Managing Compulsive And Impulsive Behaviour
Because of the sensitive or private nature of some behaviour it is not easy for family or friends to discuss this with the individual. The person may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable discussing the problem so they may need reassurance that their behaviour does not reflect badly on them and that they can talk in confidence with a healthcare professional.
The person may be unaware of their personality changes so it is very important that family and friends who observe unusual behavioural traits discuss this as soon as possible with their doctor or an appropriate healthcare professional. Although it can be difficult to tackle such sensitive issues, prompt action can usually find effective treatment.
A trial and error approach may be needed as the higher doses of Parkinsons medication required to control motor symptoms may be the cause of the compulsive behaviour. But reducing medication can mean motor symptoms are less well controlled.
Treatment may involve reducing the daily dose of Parkinsons medication, or withdrawing dopamine agonists in favour of levodopa or another type of medication. Any changes should be made gradually to minimise the risk of side effects or withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety or depression. Continuous dopaminergic stimulation , using levodopa/carbidopa or apomorphine for example, has been found to be effective for a number of people.
Tor’s Rating: Director: Michael Laughlin
1982s Strange Behavior is a strange little movie. Its a mad scientist/revenge film, that was set in Middle America and shot in New Zealand. It features high level character actors but pairs them with kiwi first-timers that are incapable of anything approaching a yank accent. In places it is tonally similar to Gary Shermans Dead and Buried which was released the same year, but it wants to be more of an homage to 50s era sci-fi/horror. Unfortunately this makes Strange Behavior more uncertain than unsettling a fact that is compounded by its undercooked satirical elements. Fortunately for the viewer, this luke warm mush creates moments that are so awkward that it is impossible to resist giving it the MST3K treatment.
The story takes place in small Midwestern town where the locals are falling victim to homicidally spellbound teenagers. At the center of all this is Pete Brady, a local high-school basketball star, and his father John. John is the local Sheriff but since there is no police car, uniform or badge, if you had asked me what his job was at the 30 minute mark I probably would have guessed Chief Superintendent of Public Works. This is just the first bit of confusion that makes Strange Behavior a bad pick for those that enjoy attention to detail.
But the laughs here arent limited to performance issues. The dialog is pure iron pyrite in places:
Oliver: Lucy Brown gets around.
Pete: Shes only thirteen for Chrissakes
Oliver: No problem there.
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Strange Behavior With Parkinson’s Priligy
14 Sep , 20200
Parkinson’s UK 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road London SW1V 1EJ. So even if you had a family member or another friend with the disease, its unlikely that theyll be feeling the same way. Please call them at 714-456-7720 for guidance. Although theres currently no cure for it, new treatments, medications, and surgeries allow individuals to live a fulfilling and productive life no matter what age theyre diagnosed. Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW is Chief Clinical Officer of Seeking Integrity Treatment Centers. Research tells us that this behavior is related not to PD itself, but to medications used to treat it.
Rob, visit SeekingIntegrity.com.
Parkinsons primarily affects motor skills, but it can also take a significant toll on a persons mood. These behaviors can be quite destructive if, for example, a spouse is distressed by a loved ones new obsession with pornography or neighbors become alarmed at the patients insistence on fixing their fences even after completing all the work. Join our community today.ICDs usually affect a small number of patients .
Aggressive And Combative Behavior After Stroke
Some survivors can demonstrate aggressive and even combative behavior after stroke. When this happens, you must seek help and talk to both a doctor and, if you experience any harm, call the domestic abuse hotline. Usually aggressive and combative behavior is the result of damage to the frontal lobe and impaired impulse control. Medication may help, and its imperative to talk to your loved ones doctor while also protecting your safety.
What Are The Treatment Options For Parkinsons Psychosis
Because Parkinsons drugs can cause psychosis, your doctor will likely start by taking you off your medications, one at a time, or adjusting the dose. Changing your medication may make your movement symptoms worse.
Your doctor will keep adjusting your medication. The goal is to get you to a dose that improves your movement without causing hallucinations and delusions.
If changing your medication doesnt work, the next step is to go on an antipsychotic medication. These drugs prevent psychosis symptoms by altering levels of chemicals in your brain.
Older antipsychotic drugs can make Parkinsons movement symptoms worse. Newer drugs, called atypical antipsychotics, are less likely to affect your movement. These drugs are off-label, meaning theyre not approved to treat Parkinsons specifically. They include:
In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration approved pimavanserin . Its the first drug designed specifically to treat Parkinsons disease psychosis. Nuplazid reduces the number of hallucinations and delusions without affecting movement.
Nuplazid and other newer antipsychotic drugs do carry a black box warning. They can increase the risk of death in older people who have psychosis related to dementia. Your doctor will consider this and other risks before prescribing one of these drugs.
What Are Parkinsons Delusions
Delusions are thoughts that arent grounded in reality. Theyre not as common as hallucinations, affecting only about 8 percent of people with Parkinsons disease. But they are harder to treat.
The most common delusions involve paranoia for example, the feeling that people are out to get you, or that your partner is cheating on you. Having these thoughts can lead to aggressive or even dangerous behavior.
Youll start with a visit to your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor may diagnose you with this condition if you:
- have had symptoms like hallucinations and delusions for at least 1 month
- dont have another condition that could be causing these symptoms, like dementia, delirium, major depression, or schizophrenia
Not everyone with Parkinsons disease will develop psychosis. Youre more likely to have this if you:
- are older
There are two possible causes of Parkinsons psychosis:
- changes in levels of brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine from the disease itself
- changes in levels of these chemicals from medications that treat Parkinsons disease
Dopamine is a chemical that helps your body move smoothly. People with Parkinsons disease have lower than normal levels of dopamine, which causes their body to move stiffly.
Drugs that treat Parkinsons improve movement by increasing dopamine levels. Yet they can sometimes cause psychosis as a side effect.
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Examples Of Delusions In Pd
- Belief: Your partner is being unfaithful.
- Behavior: Paranoia, agitation, suspiciousness, aggression.
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Selected Major Accomplishments In Va Research
- 2001: six VA Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers
- 2003:Initiated a landmark clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation for PD
- 2009:Determined that DBS may hold significant benefits for people with PD who no longer respond to medication
- 2014:Found that walking is a safe and accessible way to improve PD symptoms
- 2015:Developed a procedureto convert fibroblasts into dopamine neurons
- 2017:Found that DBS in PD patients gives a slight survival advantage
- 2019: Found that fatigue in PD patients may be a result of lower diastolic blood pressure
- 2020: Teamed up with the Parkinsons Foundation to support Veterans living with PD
What Causes Personality Changes
Because the brain substantially affects our personality, changes to it can influence who we are. How one thinks, experiences emotions, and enacts certain habits can be seen as demonstrations of their personality. As Parkinsons disease progresses, it frequently affects memory and movement, which can change how a person functions.
Many caregivers note that their loved one with Parkinsons experiences heightened anxiety and depression throughout the course of their disease progression, and its possible that these feelings can contribute to personality changes. My dad has experienced changes in his anxiety levels, and I suspect there have been chapters of depression as well. But I dont think his personality has changed because of his battles with these symptoms. Hes his same old comedic self, passing time by telling jokes and watching local wildlife.
Im not sure hes the same person he was before diagnosis, but I dont know if thats due to DBS or Parkinsons disease. Were all fluid. We change with the tides and adapt over time. Who is to say that the changes my dad sees are a result of his disease?
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How Family And Friends Can Help
Family and friends may often notice unusual behaviour that the individual is unaware of or tries to keep secret, unaware in many cases of the impact such behaviour can have on those around them. Some of the signs to look out for include:
- repetitive behaviour, constantly organising objects or collecting items
- putting on weight, eating large quantities of food in private or constant snacking
- shopping much more than usual and spending more on shopping
- being protective about finances
- spending much more time on the Internet, including late at night
- taking more Parkinsons medication than they should.
Family and friends can also help by controlling the opportunities for compulsive behaviour, perhaps by creating opportunities for other activities to divert attention, by blocking Internet gambling sites or by taking away credit and bank cards so cash flow is restricted.
Because compulsive behaviours often cause problems in family life and social adjustment, family therapy may be advised.