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:
Early Signs Of Parkinson’s
Does anyone here have experience with early signs of the Parkinson’s disease? What are the telltale signs to watch for? I have the occasional tremor in the hands – sometimes it’s so strong that I can’t do anything or drop things walking has become an exhausting activity for no reason I suffer from the occasional crisis where I nearly faint, start shaking uncontrollably and have to puke/defecate. The doctor has said that I have neurological problems but I wonder if I should be checked for Parkinson’s. I’m only 41.
|May 6, 2022 1:42 PM
Get checked for Parkinson’s
|May 2, 2022 8:00 PM
Get to a neurologist yesterday
|May 2, 2022 8:02 PM
Isn’t 41 too early for that sort of problems?
|May 2, 2022 8:04 PM
Yes, my BF dies of Parkinsons. He first found out when he was having trouble slipping his foot into his Adidas sandal. He went to the Dr and the testing got out of control to determine the cause. So very sad, fucking awful way to die. The shaking started happening in his stomach, he lost a ton of weight. Trouble speaking, he really suffered. His whole personality changed, he got very mean..
|May 2, 2022 8:07 PM
Editor! Can we please require threads like this to include a link to an inventory of OPs stuff?
|May 2, 2022 8:10 PM
You have neurological problems is not a competent diagnosis.
|May 2, 2022 8:12 PM
I’m so sorry, R4! How long was he ill? I actually didn’t know you could die from Parkinson’s.
|May 2, 2022 8:16 PM
|May 2, 2022 8:17 PM
Waiting Too Long For A Diagnosis
The long wait time between the onset of symptoms of Parkinsons and a diagnosis has been noted by researchers in the past.
We dont have anything that can definitively diagnose or exclude Parkinsons disease, said Dolhun. Instead, its based on a doctors examination.
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What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Parkinsons Disease
The early warning signs of Parkinsons disease include tremors in one or both hands, as mentioned before. Apart from that, patients may see that their face shows little or no expression. Arms may not swing when they walk, and speech may also become soft or slurred. However, these are just signs of the disease at an early stage. As the disease progresses, the symptoms may worsen over time.
Other signs and symptoms of Parkinsons disease include
- Changed handwriting
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Trouble Moving Or Walking
Do you feel stiff in your body, arms or legs? Have others noticed that your arms dont swing like they used to when you walk? Sometimes stiffness goes away as you move. If it does not, it can be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. An early sign might be stiffness or pain in your shoulder or hips. People sometimes say their feet seem stuck to the floor.
What is normal?If you have injured your arm or shoulder, you may not be able to use it as well until it is healed, or another illness like arthritis might cause the same symptom.
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Early Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects movement. Approximately 1 million people in the U.S. are living with the disease. This year, about 60,000 more will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Many people associate Parkinson’s disease with tremors or shaking of their hands. While this is a common symptom, other important symptoms include stiffness of muscles and slowing of movement.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually start on one side of the body. They usually remain worse on that side even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.
The early signs and symptoms are different for each person. The symptoms may be mild enough to go unnoticed for months or years.
Here are early symptoms that can raise concern for Parkinson’s disease:
- Smaller handwriting
- Family members may observe that one arm swings less on one side when walking.
- Soft or low voice Again, it is family members or friends who may ask one to speak louder. The speech may be more of a monotone without the usual inflections.
It is the combination of several symptoms that would raise suspicion for Parkinson’s disease. A single symptom is not enough to make a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
It is important to talk with your health care provider if you have any of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. This is to properly diagnose the condition and rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinsons disease occurs when nerve cells in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that controls movement, become impaired and/or die. Normally, these nerve cells, or neurons, produce an important brain chemical known as dopamine. When the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine, which causes the movement problems of Parkinson’s. Scientists still do not know what causes cells that produce dopamine to die.
People with Parkinson’s also lose the nerve endings that produce norepinephrine, the main chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls many functions of the body, such as heart rate and blood pressure. The loss of norepinephrine might help explain some of the non-movement features of Parkinson’s, such as fatigue, irregular blood pressure, decreased movement of food through the digestive tract, and sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or lying-down position.
Many brain cells of people with Parkinson’s contain Lewy bodies, unusual clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to better understand the normal and abnormal functions of alpha-synuclein and its relationship to genetic mutations that impact Parkinsons disease and Lewy body dementia.
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Slowing Parkinsons Early Symptoms
Even your doctor will find that early symptoms of Parkinsons disease are difficult to diagnose.
And, usually, by the time people get medical advice, there has already been substantial damage to the brain.
- So if you suspect Parkinsons early symptoms, you may want to do extra to protect yourself:
Make sure your Parkinson diet has lots of fruits and vegetables – antioxidants – to slowfree radical damage. 1
Also add the best protective brain health supplements.
Here’s what you can do NOW:
- Alert your doctor to make sure your symptoms are truly early symptoms of Parkinsons disease.
- Change your diet by adding more fruits and vegetables –foods high in anti oxidants, and high quality proteins, and eliminate all processed foods.
- Keep active, keep moving, and exercise.
- Depression often goes with Parkinsons, so see your doctor and look after yourself if that is the case.
- Add proven BRAIN HEALTH supplements now.
Exercise And Parkinsons Disease
Research conducted by the Parkinsons Foundation reveals that exercising at least 2.5 hours per week improves symptoms and slows disease progression. The group also found that the earlier patients began exercising, the more pronounced the benefits were.
To help with balance and mobility, the Foundation recommends aerobics, strength-training, and flexibility exercises. Popular options include:
- Weight lifting
The real secret to the best exercise program, though, is doing what you enjoy. For some ideas, please see our previous articles on strength-building exercise and how to begin an exercise program. And remember, never begin a new exercise regimen without talking to your doctor.
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Where To Get More Information
- If you’re experiencing any symptoms and are concerned, see your GP.
- To learn more about Parkinson’s disease and to find support, visit Parkinson’s Australia or call the Info Line on 1800 644 189.
- The Shake It Up Australia Foundation partners with The Michael J. Fox Foundation to help raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease research.
- The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is working hard to find ways to diagnose Parkinson’s earlier and repurpose existing drugs to slow its progress. Find out more here.
Want To Learn More About The Latest Research In Parkinsons Disease Ask Your Questions In Our Research Forum
3. Loss of SmellMany people temporarily lose their sense of smell due to colds or the flu, but if the loss is sustained over a length of time without any noticeable congestion, then it could be an early sign of Parkinsons disease.
4. Sleeping DisordersTrouble sleeping can be attributed to many illnesses and Parkinsons disease is one of them. Waking due to sudden body movements, or thrashing your legs in your sleep could be a warning sign of the condition.
5. Stiffness in Walking and MovingGeneral stiffness that cant be attributed to exercise aches and pains and doesnt ease up when moving around could be an early warning sign of Parkinsons disease. Many patients complain that it feels like their feet are literally stuck to the floor.
6. ConstipationUnable to move your bowels is also a common early sign of Parkinsons disease. Although this is a common enough problem in healthy people, Parkinsons patients are more susceptible to constipation. If you suddenly find youre constipated and consider your diet normal then you should have a doctor check you out.
7. Low or Soft VoiceA sore throat or a cold can change the way you speak, but if you have been experiencing a sudden softness to the tone of your voice and are now speaking in a quieter or hoarser tone, this could be an early symptom of Parkinsons disease.
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After Struggling For Four Years I Was Finally Given A Diagnosis At The Age Of 44
In July 2017, I found myself in yet another doctors office to see a third neurologist, this time for migraines. But the doctor didnt ask me about my headaches. Instead, he asked me to stand up and do a few exercises. Then, he sat down across from me, took a deep breath, and told me he suspected I had young onset Parkinsons disease .
I had been fighting for so long to figure out what was wrong with me that I had a small sense of satisfaction in receiving a diagnosis. But that satisfaction was fleeting and overwhelmed by an impending sense of fear. I knew there was no cure and I knew first-hand what the disease could look likemy father-in-law had Parkinsons disease. While I explained to my children that the disease affected everyone differently, they were worried I would end up like their Poppy, and I was too. I feared that this disease would take away my two greatest passions: my ability to take care of my kids and make art.
Most people with Parkinsons develop symptoms when theyre 50 or older, but 2 to 10 percent of uslike mebegin to experience signs of the disease earlier. Because young onset Parkinsons disease is so rare, its much harder to diagnose and many of us go untreated or misdiagnosed with something else.
Final Thoughts And Comments
If you see signs of this, do not hesitate to call your doctor. The earlier you know the result the better.
To make your life easier and more independent, Remedic has many everyday products to make your life easier. Please feel free to visit our website at
We hope you liked our blogpost about 7 Warning Signs Of Early-Onset Parkinsons Disease. Please contact us any time if you have any questions or comments.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
Although individuals may experience symptoms differently, the four common signs of Parkinsons disease are:
- Muscle rigidity or stiffness when the arm, leg, or neck is moved back and forth.
- Tremorsinvoluntary movement from contracting musclesespecially when at rest.
- Slowness in initiating movement.
- Poor posture and balance that may cause falls or problems with walking.
Get more information about Parkinsons disease from UR Medicine Neurosurgery.
Every day, millions of people take selfies with their smartphones or webcams to share online. And they almost invariably smile when they do so.
To Ehsan Hoque and his collaborators at the University of Rochester, those pictures are worth far more than the proverbial thousand words. Computer vision softwarebased on algorithms that the computer scientist and his lab have developedcan analyze the brief videos, including the short clips created while taking selfies, detecting subtle movements of facial muscles that are invisible to the naked eye.
The software can then predict with remarkable accuracy whether a person who takes a selfie is likely to develop Parkinsons diseaseas reliably as expensive, wearable digital biomarkers that monitor motor symptoms. The researchers technology is described in Nature Digital Medicine.
Though ethical and technological considerations still need to be addressed, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has agreed to fund this novel research through a $500,000 grant, effective November of 2021.
Some Parkinsons Treatment Options
Parkinsons disease has no cure, but there are treatment options to control your symptoms and improve your quality of life which include:
- Medication. Levodopa and other medications, which are trying to boost dopamine . There are number of those medications which can be used alone or in combination. Although many of those medications can help you significantly control your motor symptoms , you might also experience side effects and diminished efficacy over time.
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy are usually part of your treatment plan and can improve your balance, mobility, ability to do daily tasks, and speech.
- Deep brain stimulation is a surgery performed by a neurosurgeon, and in indicated patients can help with motor symptoms, though non-motor symptoms, such as falls, constipation, low blood pressure and incontinence do not improve.
- Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that may help sufferers regain some of their balance and strength, as well as decrease the risk of falling. Dance, such as a Zumba, may also help, as can using a stationary bicycle and rock steady boxing.
Many treatment options for Parkinsons are most effective when used in conjunction with others such as taking medication and doing physical therapy.
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Stooping Or Hunched Posture
People who have Parkinsons disease may notice changes in their posture due to other symptoms of the disease, such as muscle rigidity.
People naturally stand so that their weight is evenly distributed over their feet. However, people who have Parkinsons disease may start bending forward, making them appear hunched or stooped over.
Decrease In Facial Expressions
The person may appear Frozen.
He/she may appear to stare because blinking is reduced.
He/she may fail to laugh when a joke is made. A person with Parkinsons understands the joke, but is unable to smile or laugh.
In the same way, he/she may find it difficult to cry or express anger on their face.
Humans sense facial emotions very quickly.
Therefore, in retrospect, this is often recognized as an early symptom of Parkinsons disease by the patient or family members.
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You Could Have Parkinsons Disease Symptoms In Your 30s Or 40s And Not Know It
Blog post | 11 Apr 2019
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Parkinson’s is only an older person’s disease.
Many people with Parkinson’s, a progressive disease of the nervous system, are indeed at retirement age. So the world was shocked when Back to The Future actor Michael J. Fox revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at only 29 years old.
But Fox’s case isn’t unique. It’s believed that 1 in 10 people with Parkinson’s develop the disease some time before their 40th birthday. About 1 in 5 Australians with Parkinson’s are at ‘working age’ .
And a person can live with symptoms for many years before a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is made.
To mark World Parkinson’s Day, Thursday April 11, here’s what you need to know about the early signs of this insidious neurological disease.
Common Parkinsons Early Symptoms
Early Symptoms of Parkinson to watch for:
- Sometimes people have trouble getting out of a chair
- You might just be tired and not feel well
- You might just feel a little bit shaky
- Some people find that their sense of smell is not as good
Are Tremors an Early Symptom of Parkinsons?
Tremors are usually only when you are quiet and not doing anything
- Early tremors could just affect one of your fingers or you thumb
- One typical Parkinsons tremor is called “pill-rolling” because it looks like the person is rolling something in their hand
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And Speaking Of Timely Parkinsons Disease Diagnosis
Turns out its not just selfies and videos that can help with diagnosing Parkinsons disease.
More and more, people are using speech-activated smart devices, such as Alexa, Apple Watch, and Google Voice Assistant, to accomplish everyday tasks. Could these devices analyze our speech and voices to alert us if we show early warning signs of Parkinsons disease?
Recent work by Rochester researchers suggests its entirely possible. Wasifur Rahman, Sangwu Lee, Md. Saiful Islam, and other students in Hoques lab published findings in the Journal of Medical Internet Research that show how an online tool can be used to help screen almost anyone anywhere for Parkinsons disease remotely using video- or audio-enabled speech tasks.
Taken together, the Rochester researchers efforts are contributing to a future in which equity and access to neurological care is as ubiquitous as owning a smart phone or other internet-enabled device.