Pool Therapy For Parkinsons Patients
Like Alzheimers, Parkinsons disease tends to be progressive in nature. Disturbing the neurons in the brain, Parkinsons slowly robs patients of balance, muscle control and motor functions. As has been noted by the Parkinsons Center for Disease, there is a two to four percent increased risk for Parkinsons disease among people over the age of 60. Therefore, senior living facilities often have a large number of people in various stages of the disease.
Although no one is quite certain why Parkinsons occurs, genetic links are suspected. Other factors that can lead to the condition appear to be repeated head trauma, and long-term exposure to environmentally-hazardous materials like pesticides, heavy metals and cleaning solvents. If patients with Parkinsons live long enough, they may reach the point where they are bedridden or wheelchair-bound.
To combat the symptoms of Parkinsons without adding more pharmaceuticals to a patients treatment, numerous physical therapists and exercise experts are introducing seniors with the disease to water-based exercises and rehabilitation plans. In a HydroWorx pool with variable-depth floor, a patient who cannot safely move freely on land can enjoy some independence, security and control in the pool. Best of all, regular exercise provides improved balance, delayed progression and improved dopamine release/uptake.
Myth : Deep Brain Stimulation Is Experimental Therapy
Fact: Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, is a procedure in which doctors place electrodes in the brain at the point when medications are less effective in masking motor symptoms, such as tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement.
While it may sound frightening and futuristic, its been around and successfully used for decades. DBS works very similarly to a pacemaker, except the wire is in the brain, not in the heart. Its been a standard procedure for the past two decades.
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.
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Does Parkinsons Affect Memory
Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.
Incidence And Prevalence: Als Compared With Parkinsons
All neurodegenerative diseases are conditions where there is an impact on the brain and/or the central nervous system.
According to statistics, ALS currently affects around 30,000 people in the USA, with around 6,000 new cases being identified each year.
Parkinsons Disease affects around a million people in America and there are about 60,000 new cases annually.
Famous individuals affected by Parkinsons include Michael J Fox and Scottish comedian Billy Connelly. In terms of ALS, the late Professor Stephen Hawking was one prominent public figure who had been diagnosed with a form of ALS. The late legendary US baseball player Lou Gehrig was also diagnosed with ALS and subsequently the condition has been commonly referred to as Lou Gehrigs disease ever since.
Parkinsons is perhaps a much more well known condition, due to its increased prevalence throughout the world, however ALS has received a lot more attention and awareness since the Ice Bucket Challenge which went viral on social media during the summer of 2014.
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What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is primarily responsible for controlling movement, emotional responses and the ability to feel pleasure and pain.
The cells that make dopamine are impaired and as the disease progresses, the more dopamine-producing brain cells die. Once a person develops motor symptoms, the amount of dopamine loss is already substantial. The brain eventually reaches a point where it stops producing dopamine in any significant amount, thus increasing problems with movement.
Pool Therapy: A Boon For The Healthcare Industry
The topic of healthcare for people of all ages, not merely seniors, is an important one. Its consistently making headlines, especially with the Baby Boomer population reaching retirement age.
Knowing that hundreds of thousands of seniors are going to be diagnosed with Alzheimers, Parkinsons and Multiple Sclerosis each year, senior living facilities with the means to invest in a warm-water pool with integrated treadmill technology would be wise to do so. By keeping their population of patients as active as possible through water-based therapies and exercise options, a facility could make great advances in the field.
Though none of the aforementioned conditions that have been covered has a cure, they can all be managed through a combination of prescription drugs, diet and exercise. HydroWorx aquatic therapy equipment might just wind up being the deciding factor for someone looking for a long-term place to stay during their later decades.
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Similarities Between Als And Parkinsons Disease
There are several similarities between these two diseases. Both affect neurons in the body and have a detrimental impact on the motor system, that is, how we move, speak, eat and breathe.
Individuals with ALS can often show Parkinson like symptoms, such as tremors, rigidity and slow movement. Beyond this, however, the ALS vs Parkinsons disease differences tend to be much starker than the similarities.
Treatment Of Als Vs Parkinsons Disease
There is currently no cure for ALS and much of the treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms and trying to slow down the progression of the disease. Ultimately the disease will be fatal and once bodily functions such as swallowing and breathing are affected, the prognosis is very poor.
Typically, around half of those diagnosed with ALS will die within the first three years following their diagnosis. Only 10% of those diagnosed will live beyond 10 years.
Treatment of Parkinsons disease has received a lot more attention with its higher profile in the media. As with ALS, there is currently no cure but there are a wide range of different medications and treatments that are available.
This includes brain stimulation therapy which sends an electrical stimulus to the brain from a device embedded by the collarbone to help alleviate symptoms such as tremors.
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Onset Of Als And Parkinsons
There are several different variants of ALS but it generally affects people between the age of 40 and 70. Juvenile onset ALS, however, can start in childhood or typically before the age of 25, although this form of ALS is particularly rare. The onset of ALS is estimated to be 20% more common in men compared with women and in 10% of cases there is likely to be a genetic component.
Parkinsons disease is usually diagnosed in people over the age of 60, though a small percentage exhibit the symptoms before the age of 50.
Once again, men are more likely to develop Parkinsons than women.
Exercise Advice For People With Ms:
In the past, people with multiple sclerosis were advised to avoid exertion. However, it is now known that regular moderate exercise is important to maintain general health and wellbeing. Many people with MS experience fatigue but this will not be made worse with the right type of exercise. Exercise builds up endurance and strength in muscles without increasing fatigue.
The attitude of no pain, no gain does not apply in MS. Our local exercise classes will not push you to exhaustion, the exercises are adapted to your own fitness levels and capabilities.
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What Looks Like Parkinsons But Isnt
Dr. Fernandez describes two main Parkinsons mimics:
Essential tremor. Also known as benign essential tremor or familial tremor, this movement disorder causes brief, uncontrollable shaking.
It most often affects your hands, but can also affect your head and neck, larynx and other areas. In rare cases, it affects your lower body as well.
But one clue can help distinguish essential tremor from Parkinsons.
This is not an absolute rule, but if shaking occurs at rest, it often is Parkinsons. And if shaking occurs in action, such as when youre writing or eating, it is essential tremor, Dr. Fernandez says.
About half of those with essential tremor have a family history of the condition.
Unlike Parkinsons, essential tremor is generally not perceived as a progressive disorder, and, if mild, may not require treatment.
Doctors can prescribe medications to reduce shaking, but they are not the same drugs used to treat Parkinsons, he says.
Drug-induced Parkinsons. Along with shaking, this condition may cause many symptoms similar to Parkinsons disease, including stiffness, slow movement, a decrease in facial expression and a change in speech.
As the name suggests, taking certain drugs, most commonly antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, can trigger this condition. How long it takes to develop can vary greatly, depending on which drug youre taking, how long you take it and the dosage.
Your doctor likely will treat drug-induced Parkinsons by adjusting your medication.
So What Is It Is It Parkinsons Disease Or Is It Something Else
The answer is not easy, but many who feel they have more than Parkinsons may in fact have multiple system atrophy .MSA is a very rare disorder that has similarities and features of Parkinsonism.However, it is so rare that many physicians are unfamiliar with it and so the diagnosis is not considered. As a result, a likely diagnosis of MSA might be delayed by years and even missed all together. Whats more, due to many symptoms that could possibly be attributed to other conditions diagnosing MSA can be challenging, even to the most experienced doctors. This can be very frustrating to those who know it is more than PD.
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What Is End Stage Parkinsons
The final stage of Parkinsons disease is the most severe. You may not be able to perform any physical movements without assistance. For that reason, you must live with a caregiver or in a facility that can provide one-on-one care. Quality of life declines rapidly in the final stages of Parkinsons disease.
Parkinson’s Disease: The Basics
An estimated 1 million people in the US have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease , a progressive neurologic disease that can result in disabilities in movement, speech, and thinking over decades. The disease results as cells that produce dopamine, a brain chemical important in transmitting messages related to movement, are destroyed. Recent evidence has shown that other areas of the brain may be involved even before the dopamine neurons are lost. People with the disease are typically diagnosed in their fifties or older, although it can occur in those younger than 30. By the time the first movement-related symptoms appear, it is believed that people have usually had the disease for years.
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The primary motor symptoms leading to diagnosis include tremor stiffness of the arms, legs, and trunk slowed movements, called bradykinesia and balance problems. Because there are no blood or imaging tests for PD, you need to be as specific as possible in describing your symptomswhen they began, and how they affect your lifeso your doctor can make the right diagnosis. Researchers are looking for biomarkers to help diagnose the disease earlier, particularly changes in the brain visible with various brain imaging techniques like single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography . But to date, symptoms are still the only way to diagnose the disease.
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Myth : Parkinsons Disease Is Fatal
Fact: Although a diagnosis of Parkinsons is devastating, it is not as some people may still believe a death sentence. Parkinsons disease is not a direct killer, like stroke or heart attack. That said, much depends on the quality of your care, both from your medical team and yourself.
As the disease progresses, you may become more vulnerable to falls, which can be dangerous. Thats why exercise and physical therapy are so important.
Infection is another problem. In later stages of Parkinsons, people often miss those signals and may not notice somethings up until its too late. That can be, literally, a killer so be sure to stay up to date with checkups.
What It Feels Like To Live With Parkinsons
Two art directors explore how a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease has changed their worlds.
What It Feels Like to Live With Parkinsons
What It Feels Like to Live With Parkinsons
What It Feels Like to Live With Parkinsons
Steven Heller, 70, has lived with Parkinsons for more than 10 years. Véronique Vienne, 79, only recently learned that she had the disease. Both have had long careers as art directors, and the two have been friends for more than three decades. Back in March, the pair exchanged a flurry of emails over a 10-day period, where they explored the before and after of a Parkinsons diagnosis. Here is an edited version of their conversation.
Now both of us are members of a club Id rather not belong to. What are the odds of two collaborators, like us, getting the same neurological disease?
You know, over 10 years ago I learned that I had Parkinsons disease. Whatever the cause, it was not welcome news. There is an upside, my first doctor smilingly told me, as he informed so many before me, you wont die from it. Something else will do that. Well, that was comforting.
I decided to seek a second opinion.
My new doctor said more or less the same but added: Dont try to self-diagnose from the internet. Wise advice: There are just too many nuances, and every PDer has their own peculiar symptoms.
What about you? When did you learn that you became a club member? And what are the dues you now pay?
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The Danger Of Paraquat Today
The United States banned DDT, Agent Orange, and heptachlor in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the United States has not banned all pesticides linked to Parkinsons. The one with perhaps the strongest link to the disease is still in widespread use: paraquat.
The United States has not banned all pesticides linked to Parkinsons. The one with perhaps the strongest link to the disease is still in widespread use: paraquat.
Paraquat has been used as a pesticide since the 1950s and is marketed as an alternative to the worlds most popular weed killer, glyphosate, more commonly known as Roundup. Paraquat takes care of weeds that not even Roundup can kill. Today, it is used on farm fields across the United States, and its use continues to increase. The pesticides primary uses are for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and grapes.
Portraits of several Parkinsons patients show the many faces of people with the diagnosis. It affects people from all walks of life.
In the laboratory, paraquat reproduces the features of Parkinsons disease. In a 1999 study in Brain Research, A. I. Brooks of the University of Rochester and colleagues gave paraquat to mice, and their activity decreased. Paraquat also killed dopamine-producing nerve cells in the rodents substantia nigras. The greater the amount of paraquat administered, the greater the number of nerve cells lost.
Table adapted from: www.panna.org.
Figure adapted from R. Dorsey et al., 2020.
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How Therapy Helps Ms And Parkinsons
While there are differences in Parkinsons and MS, physical, occupational and speech therapy can help both MS and PD patients improve their independence and safety, as well as achieve and maintain optimal function and cognition. Therapy can help prevent complications such as de-conditioning, muscle weakness from lack of mobility and muscle contractures related to spasticity. Training in energy conservation techniques and the use of adaptive tools and devices can help simplify everyday tasks. Therapists can even recommend strategic modifications to your home to ensure accessibility and safety even as the disease progresses.
Clinicians certified in LSVT ® and PWR! therapeutic programs can provide Parkinsons-specific exercises to target weight shifting, posture, trunk rotation and stepping strategies to overcome rigidity and slowness of movement. Education on specific exercises and strategies helps increase safety and slow the progression of the disease.
Slowing The Development Of Multiple Sclerosis
This table depicts the results of four major studies showing that beginning treatment at the “pre-MS” stage of the disease, after the first clinically isolated syndrome , extended the time until the MS diagnosis compared to people who were not treated after a CIS.
Multiple Sclerosis: The Basics
Multiple sclerosis is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which immune system cells and inflammatory chemicals damage the myelin sheath that covers nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This, in turn, leaves the neurons open to further damage and impairs their ability to communicate, leading to problems with vision, movement, balance, and thinking. Most people are diagnosed in their twenties and thirties. Although studies suggest that about half of people with MS use a cane for walking and 15 percent require a wheelchair 10 years after diagnosis, the disease-modifying drugs used in treatment today can significantly slow the progression of the disease and the development of disability.
Between 250,000 and 350,000 people in the United States, primarily women, have been diagnosed with MS. The disease is likely related to a combination of genetic and environmental causes. People with a family history of the disease have a much higher risk of developing MS themselves.
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