Wednesday, August 3, 2022

What Is Parkinson’s Disease And Its Symptoms

Symptoms That May Be Related To Pd But That Few People Know About

Parkinson’s Disease: What Are The Symptoms?

People with PD and care partners may suspect that a particular symptom is related to PD, but they cant find information about it, so they are not sure. Two symptoms that pop up in this category are runny nose and breathing problems, which well focus on today. Of course, if these are new symptoms for you, they could be indicative of a new problem, including infection with COVID-19, so make sure to get yourself checked out by your doctor. However, if all else is ruled out, PD could be to blame. Excessive sweating and specific skin disorders are in this category as well and have been addressed previously.

Lightheadedness And/or Dizziness Upon Standing Up

People with PD can experience these symptoms due sudden drops in blood pressure when standing up, potentially leading to falls. This may occur because the disease affects a part of the nervous system that controls blood pressure.

Some PD medications also may be to blame. Its not uncommon in early PD. According to a 2020 study in the journal Geriatrics and Gerontology International, nearly half of people with early Parkinsons experience it.

What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Parkinson’s Disease

    The severity of Parkinson’s disease symptoms and signs vary greatly from person to person, and it is not possible to predict how quickly the disease will progress.

    • Parkinson’s disease itself is not a fatal disease, and the average life expectancy is similar to that of people without the disease.
    • Secondary complications, such as pneumonia, falling-related injuries, and choking can lead to death.
    • Many treatment options can reduce some of the symptoms and prolong the quality of life.

    Recommended Reading: Beds For Parkinson’s Patients

    What Is Parkinsonism Is It Different From Parkinsons

    Parkinsons disease is the most common cause of parkinsonism, a category of neurological diseases that cause slowed movement.

    No quick or easy diagnostic tests exist for Parkinsons disease, so a patient may receive an initial diagnosis of parkinsonism without a more specific condition being confirmed.

    Classic Parkinsons disease referred to as idiopathic because it has no known cause is the most common and most treatable parkinsonism.

    About 15 percent of people with parkinsonism have atypical variants, which are also known as Parkinsons-plus syndromes.

    Give Yourself Time To Adjust

    Parkinsons Disease: Signs, Risks and Treatme

    Over time, youll likely become an expert in Parkinsons disease but right now, youre a newbie. Give yourself time for the diagnosis and all it might mean to sink in. Then, get educated: Ask your doctor for information you can take home and read, find other people with Parkinsons in your community or online to talk to, and browse sites like the National Parkinson Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research.

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    Complementary Treatment Parkinsons Disease

    Warning: Vitamin Bg should only be administered by a doctor to Parkinsons patients. Biodynamics can help in the early stages of the disease. Regular exercise via tai chi/chi kung can help delay the progress of the disease in its earliest stages, as can the Alexander Technique. Diel nutritional therapy can be helpful. Ask your therapist about a low-protein diet. Various vitamin and mineral supplements could help, for example vitamins B, C and E but note the warning above with regard to vitamin B6.

    Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease

    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.

    Read Also: Medications For Parkinson’s Patients

    Cdnf Potential Dmt For Parkinsons May Work As Nasal Spray

    A potential Parkinsons therapy based on a protein with an ability to protect neurons called recombinant human cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor has been transformed into tiny nanoparticles that may allow for its use as a nasal spray, Herantis Pharma, its developer, announced.

    Nanoforming, the process of engineering rhCDNF into nanoparticles, those thousands of times thinner than a human hair, was conducted by Nanoform using its nanoparticle technology.

    Under a February partnership agreement, Nanoform conducted proof-of-concept studies to determine if its nanoforming process could be applied to rhCDNF, making it suitable for intranasal spray delivery. Currently the treatment, which aims to stop Parkinsons progression, needs to be administered directly into the brain using an implanted delivery system suited for Parkinsons patients.

    Deep Brain Stimulation And Parkinsons Disease

    Overview of Parkinson’s disease and its symptoms | Giselle Petzinger

    For people with Parkinsons disease who do not respond well to medications, Deep brain stimulation , may be appropriate. Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure used to treat several disabling neurological symptomsmost commonly the debilitating motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease, such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems 20). The Deep brain stimulation has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is widely used today. The procedure is also used to treat essential tremor and dystonia. At present, the procedure is used only for individuals whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications 21). However, only individuals who improve to some degree after taking medication for Parkinsons benefit from Deep brain stimulation . A variety of conditions may mimic Parkinsons disease but do not respond to medications or deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called an implantable pulse generator similar to a heart pacemaker and approximately the size of a stopwatch to deliver electrical stimulation to specific areas in the brain that control movement, thus blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause Parkinsons disease symptoms. The device and electrodes painlessly stimulate the brain in a way that helps stop many of the movement-related symptoms of Parkinsons, such as tremor, slowness of movement, and rigidity.

    Read Also: Treatment Of Dyskinesia In Parkinson’s Disease

    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.

    Pharmacologic Issues At End

    As PD progresses there are fewer dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra as well as a progressively lower capacity to store exogenous levodopa and convert it to dopamine for storage and release in the remaining neurons. Additionally, as the dose requirements of levodopa increase, the patients functioning is inhibited before his next dose of medication . This usually takes place 24 hours after a levodopa dose and may appear as sensory , psychiatric or autonomic symptom, or progression of motor symptoms or dystonia . This is called end of dose wearing off. Wearing off has not been fully explored, but may be connected to pharmacokinetic changes, and shortening of striatal levodopa half-life resulting from progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic terminals . To treat motor symptoms it is necessary to deliver medication effectively. Patients with advanced PD often notice that protein-rich meals will diminish the effectiveness of levodopa doses . This can be alleviated by reducing protein intake during daytime and limiting protein intake at night to 40 grams . There are some strategies to Improve absorption of Levodopa include: advise patients to take levodopa before meals, on an empty stomach , advise patients to avoid protein-rich meals and bulk-forming foods , advise patients against lying down, and encourage them to move around, after ingesting a dose , and advise patients to mix levodopa, crushed into a powder, into sparkling liquid .

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    The Stages Of Parkinsons Disease

    Stage OneThe Initial Stage: Symptoms are generally mild and may be easier to hide. Common symptoms include tremors, poor posture, balance issues, stooping of the back, and shaking of the limbs.

    Stage TwoBoth Sides of the Body are Affected: The Parkinsons now affects both sides of the body, with increased symptoms that are more noticeable. Daily tasks become more difficult as symptoms now affect the entire body. It is harder to maintain your balance, walking becomes more difficult and tremors/shaking is more frequent.

    Stage ThreeIncreased symptoms & overall slowing down: By stage 3 the typical symptoms are more pronounced and the list of symptoms becomes more inclusive. One of the most noticeable changes is that movements and actions are much slower including facial expressions, speech, and motor skills. It is common to common to feel light headed, fainting, and experience hypo-tension .

    Stage FiveThe Final Stage: During the final stages the person will require 24/7 one on one care and nursing skills. By stage 5, hospice care for late stage Parkinsons is a necessity and will help everyone involved with the acceptance of the final stage of the disease.Our trained hospice providers will guide you through these final stages. Our goal is to focus on the patient and the family unit as a whole.

    Also Check: How To Treat Constipation In Parkinsons Disease

    Medication Not Working The Way It Used To

    Pin on Health &  Wellbeing

    In the early stages, taking medicine works well to get rid of symptoms. But as Parkinsons progresses, your medication works for shorter periods of time, and symptoms return more easily. Your doctor will need to change your prescription.

    Dr. Valerie Rundle-Gonzalez, a Texas-based neurologist, says to pay attention to how long your medicine takes to kick in and when it stops working. She says you should feel like symptoms significantly improve or are almost gone while on medication.

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    What Are Lewy Bodies

    The affected neurons of people with Parkinsons disease have been found to contain clumped proteins called Lewy bodies. Researchers arent yet sure why Lewy bodies form or what role they play in the disease, but Lewy bodies are believed to be toxic.

    Lewy bodies are clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein . Neurons cant break down these protein clumps, which may lead to the death of these cells.

    Some other theoretical causes of brain cell death in people with Parkinsons disease include free-radical damage, inflammation, or toxins.

    Memory Or Thinking Problems

    Having issues with thinking and processing things could mean your disease is progressing. Parkinsons is more than a movement disorder. The disease has a cognitive part as well, which means it can cause changes in the way your brain works.

    During the final stage of the disease, some people may develop dementia or have hallucinations. However, hallucinations can also be a side effect of certain medications.

    If you or your loved ones notice that youre getting unusually forgetful or easily confused, it might be a sign of advanced-stage Parkinsons.

    Read Also: Can Parkinsons Be Reversed With Exercise

    What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease

    Each person with Parkinsons disease experiences symptoms in in their own unique way. Not everyone experiences all symptoms of Parkinsons disease. You may not experience symptoms in the same order as others. Some people may have mild symptoms others may have intense symptoms. How quickly symptoms worsen also varies from individual to individual and is difficult to impossible to predict at the outset.

    In general, the disease progresses from early stage to mid-stage to mid-late-stage to advanced stage. This is what typically occurs during each of these stages:

    Early stage

    Early symptoms of Parkinsons disease are usually mild and typically occur slowly and do not interfere with daily activities. Sometimes early symptoms are not easy to detect or you may think early symptoms are simply normal signs of aging. You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing.

    Often, a family member or friend notices some of the subtle signs before you do. They may notice things like body stiffness or lack of normal movement slow or small handwriting, lack of expression in your face, or difficulty getting out of a chair.

    Mid stage

    Mid-late stage

    Standing and walking are becoming more difficult and may require assistance with a walker. You may need full time help to continue to live at home.

    Advanced stage

    Clinical History And Testing

    How does Parkinson’s disease and its treatment affect sexual functioning?

    Diagnostic tests can be used to establish some features of the condition and distinguish them from symptoms of other conditions. Diagnosis may include taking the person’s , a physical exam, assessment of neurological function, testing to rule out conditions that may cause similar symptoms, brain imaging, to assess cognitive function,, or myocardial scintigraphy. Laboratory testing can rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as abnormal , , , or vitamin deficiencies that may cause symptoms similar to dementia.

    Typical dementia screening tests used are the and the . The pattern of cognitive impairment in DLB is distinct from other dementias, such as AD the MMSE mainly tests for the memory and language impairments more commonly seen in those other dementias and may be less suited for assessing cognition in the Lewy body dementias, where testing of visuospatial and executive function is indicated. The MoCA may be better suited to assessing cognitive function in DLB, and the scale and the may help understand cognitive decline relative to fluctuations in DLB. For tests of attention, , , and can be used for simple screening, and the Revised Digit Symbol Subtest of the may show defects in attention that are characteristic of DLB. The , and are used for evaluation of executive function, and there are many other screening instruments available.

    Recommended Reading: How Does Parkinson’s Disease Develop

    Risk Factors Associated With Parkinson’s Disease

    • 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.

    What To Expect In The Late Stages Of Parkinsons Disease

    The late stages of PD are medically classified as stage four and stage five by the Hoehn and Yahr scale:

    • Stage Four of Parkinsons Disease In stage four, PD has progressed to a severely disabling disease. Patients with stage four PD may be able to walk and stand unassisted, but they are noticeably incapacitated. Many use a walker to help them. At this stage, the patient is unable to live an independent life and needs assistance with some activities of daily living. The necessity for help with daily living defines this stage. If the patient is still able to live alone, it is still defined as Stage Three.
    • Stage Five of Parkinsons Disease Stage five is the most advanced and is characterized by an inability to arise from a chair or get out of bed without help. They may have a tendency to fall when standing or turning, and they may freeze or stumble when walking. Around-the-clock assistance is required at this stage to reduce the risk of falling and help the patient with all daily activities. At stage five, the patient may also experience hallucinations or delusions.1,2

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    Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

    The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually develop gradually and are mild at first.

    There are many different symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Some of the more common symptoms are described below.

    However, the order in which these develop and their severity is different for each individual. It’s unlikely that a person with Parkinson’s disease would experience all or most of these.

    What Are The Symptoms Of End

    Parkinsonism symptoms and signs

    Stage four for Parkinsons disease is often called advanced Parkinsons disease because people in this stage experience severe and incapacitating symptoms. This is when medication doesnt help as much and serious disabilities set in.

    Theres an increased severity in:

    • How you speak a softer voice that trails off.
    • Falling and trouble with balance and coordination.
    • Freezing a sudden, but temporary inability to move, when you start to walk or change direction.
    • Moving without assistance or a wheelchair.
    • Other symptoms such as constipation, depression, loss of smell, low blood pressure when going to stand up, pain, and sleep issues.

    Many times someone with advanced PD cant live on their own and needs help with daily tasks.

    Stage five is the final stage of Parkinsons, and assistance will be needed in all areas of daily life as motor skills are seriously impaired. You may:

    • Experience stiffness in your legs. It may make it impossible to walk or stand without help.
    • Need a wheelchair at all times or are bedridden.
    • Need round-the-clock nursing care for all activities.
    • Experience hallucinations and delusions.

    As Parkinsons disease progresses into these advanced stages, its symptoms can often become increasingly difficult to manage. Whether you or your loved one with end-stage Parkinsons lives at home, in an assisted living facility or a nursing home, hospice services can optimize your quality of life and that of your family members as well.

    Read Also: Michael J Fox Parkinson’s Research

    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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