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What Kills A Person With Parkinson’s Disease

Do All Parkinsons Patients Develop Dementia

Living with Parkinsons disease

Although dementia is a hallmark of Alzheimers disease, dementia may occur in Parkinsons disease affecting approximately 70% of the patients.

Dementia describes a set of symptoms that cause is a significant loss in brain function. It produces a greater impact on patients on patients with Parkinsons than in Alzheimers patients as they have to deal with motor and cognitive impairment.

Alzheimers affect memory and language in general terms. Still, in Parkinsons, it affects problem-solving capacity, speed of thinking, memory, and they run with mild cognitive impairment.

Notably, Parkinsons disease dementia is a common thing among patients with this condition. The vast majority of them may experience some form of cognitive impairment over time.

Though it is a unique process for each person, several risk factors may lead to dementia symptoms and dementia itself.

  • Increasing age.
  • Exposure to psychological stress
  • Low education level and low socioeconomic status

Disease duration has as well a direct correlation with the development of dementia on these patients. The more time the patient has this disease, the risk of developing dementia increases.

Also, Parkinsons dementia has a direct correlation with Lewy bodies. Most people develop dementia as a progression of the disease rather than having Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Nonetheless, a doctor with a neurology specialist should examine the patient to give an assertive diagnosis to the condition.

What Is Paraquat Used In

Paraquat is a herbicide that is widely used by farmers as a fast-acting weed killer. Its also known by the brand name Gramoxone.

It was first introduced for commercial purposes in 1961, and has since been one of the most widely used herbicides around the world.

In the United States, due to the toxicity of the herbicide, Paraquat is not registered for residential use. It is only available for use by commercially licensed users, or those individuals who have completed an Environmental Protection Agency or EPA-approved training program.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers Paraquat to be more toxic compared to other herbicides.

The herbicides toxicity can present itself upon inhalation, skin absorption, and ingestion of the chemical.

Aside from poisonings, Paraquat has also been known as a possible cause of cancer and birth defects, as well as Parkinsons disease.

Scientists Believe Constipation Can Be Early Sign Of Parkinsons Disease

By Brian Blum

If you suffer from constipation, it might be a sign of early Parkinsons disease.

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, have hypothesized that constipation a common although not usually discussed non-motor symptom of Parkinsons could predate diagnosis of the neurological disease by up to 20 years.

Thats important because there are currently no therapies capable of stopping the progression of the Parkinsons. However, if it is diagnosed early enough, scientists hope that certain therapies that have proved unsuccessful later on in the disease might work to at earlier stages.

Parkinsons involves the buildup of tiny deposits of protein waste within brain cells called Lewy bodies . Lewy body buildup appears to be linked with specific non-motor symptoms of Parkinsons, including anxiety, sleep disorders and the loss of the sense of smell.

Scientists have proposed that Lewy bodies kill some of the brain cells that control the healthy functioning of different parts of the body, including the gastrointestinal tract.

Because Lewy bodies are clinically inaccessible and cant be studied directly in the brain, scientists have had to look for related symptoms like constipation. Lewy bodies may lurk in the brain for many years before diagnosis.

While the research is still hypothetical for humans, Goldberg is enthusiastic.

The results were published in the journal Science Advances.

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You Dont Look Like You Have Parkinsons

This is my least favorite comment. Many of my symptoms are unseen. People have no idea how much I am struggling at times to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Most days, I feel shaky and weak, and I am totally exhausted.

A comment like this can minimize the hidden symptoms that are very real to the person with Parkinsons. Most people do not understand what those of us with the disease deal with daily and sometimes hourly.

How Can People Cope With Parkinson’s Disease


While PD usually progresses slowly, eventually daily routines may be affectedfrom socializing with friends to earning a living and taking care of a home. These changes can be difficult to accept. Support groups can help people cope with the diseases emotional impact. These groups also can provide valuable information, advice, and experience to help people with PD, their families, and their caregivers deal with a wide range of issues, including locating doctors familiar with the disease and coping with physical limitations. A list of national organizations that can help people locate support groups in their communities appears at the end of this information. Individual or family counseling may also help people find ways to cope with PD.

People with PD may also benefit from being proactive and finding out as much as possible about the disease in order to alleviate fear of the unknown and to take a positive role in maintaining their health. Many people with PD continue to work either full- or part-time, although they may need to adjust their schedule and working environment to accommodate their symptoms.

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What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson disease is one of the most commonneurodegenerative disorders causing progressive disability. It is a disease without a cure, but that can slow down with proper treatment.

The disease predominantly affects the basal ganglia, a group of nuclei at the base of the brain, and the substantia nigra. Nerve cells in the substantia nigra produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. They are responsible for relaying messages that plan and control body movement.

Furthermore, body movement is controlled by a complex chain of decisions involving many groups of nerve cells. These are the ganglia. Information comes to the striatum, a central area of the brain that works with the substantia nigra to send impulses back and forth from the spinal cord to the brain.

When dopamine receptors in the striatum receive an inadequate stimulus, parts of the basal ganglia are under or over-stimulated. Depending on the stimulation, this can cause movement symptoms like tremor or rigidity.

In Parkinsons disease patients, the nerve cells that produce dopamine are dying. Parkinsons disease symptoms occur when the nerve cells emit an impulse, and there is not enough dopamine to transmit it.

The 2 significant body findings in Parkinsons disease are the loss of pigmented dopaminergic nerve cells of the substantia nigra and the presence of Lewy bodies in the brain. Before the movement or motor signs of Parkinson disease emerge, approximately 60-80% of dopaminergic neurons are already lost.

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Samaritan is a member of the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation, a network of not-for-profit hospice and palliative providers across the country. If you know someone outside of our service area who is living with advanced illness and can benefit from hospice or palliative care, please call 1 -GET-NPHI for a referral to a not-for-profit provider in your area.

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Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

These common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease often begin gradually and progress over time:

  • Shaking or tremor
  • Poor posture
  • Slowing of body movements

As the disease continues to progress, additional symptoms can occur such as slurred or soft speech, trouble chewing and/or swallowing, memory loss, constipation, trouble sleeping, loss of bladder control, anxiety, depression, inability to regulate body temperature, sexual dysfunction, decreased ability to smell, restless legs and muscle cramps.

How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

There are currently no specific tests that diagnose PD. The diagnosis is based on:

  • medical history and a neurological examination
  • blood and laboratory tests, to rule out other disorders that may be causing the symptoms
  • brain scans to rule out other disorders. However, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging brain scans of people with PD usually appear normal.

In rare cases, where people have a clearly inherited form of PD, researchers can test for known gene mutations as a way of determining an individuals risk of developing the disease. However, this genetic testing can have far-reaching implications and people should carefully consider whether they want to know the results of such tests.

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Paraquat And Parkinsons Disease

Over the past several years, scientific researchers have been stepping up their examination of the link between Paraquat exposure on humans and the risk of Parkinsons disease.

And with determination and hard work, several findings that establish the connection between the two have been found.

For instance, in 2009, research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that any form of Paraquat exposure within 1,600 feet increases the risk of Parkinsons disease by 75 percent.

And in 2011, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives published results from a study of Parkinsons disease and how it may be linked to pesticides.

A growing body of evidence suggests pesticides may play a role in Parkinsons disease in humans, the study says.

The research further explained that Parkinsons was associated with lifetime use of pesticides, with animal studies suggesting that the pesticides Paraquat and Rotenone can cause oxidative stress and block mitochondrial complex.

Paraquat works by producing intracellular molecules that damage cells by causing oxidative stress.

Through the study, researchers have associated human exposure to Paraquat and Rotenone with Parkinsons disease, with the conclusion that the disease was strongly associated with the herbicide.

The authors even added that the possibility of being exposed to Paraquat is not only exclusive for agricultural workers.

Whats worse?

What Organs Does Parkinson Disease Affect

Parkinsons disease is characteristical, a movement disorder responsive to dopaminergic medication. But it does not only affect the movement or body motor system. It changes as well the autonomic nervous system that controls the involuntary actions of the body.

These automatic actions of the body include some like a heart beating, sweating, swallowing, and bowel movements for digestion. The autonomic nervous system has two subdivisions, the sympathetic system, and the parasympathetic system.

The sympathetic system functions apply when the body enters in an alert state and the parasympathetic when the body relaxes. Of course, both are in balance through a typical day accomplishing physiological functions of the body.

There is mounting evidence that PD patients have affection in neurons of the autonomic pathways. Consequently, autonomic physiology may serve as a window into non-motor PD onset and progression of the disease. These are the most common systems that Parkinsons disease affects:

Environmental Factors And Exposures

Exposure to pesticides and a history of head injury have each been linked with PD, but the risks are modest. Never having smoked cigarettes, and never drinking caffeinated beverages, are also associated with small increases in risk of developing PD.

Low concentrations of urate in the blood is associated with an increased risk of PD.

Drug-induced parkinsonism

Different medical drugs have been implicated in cases of parkinsonism. Drug-induced parkinsonism is normally reversible by stopping the offending agent. Drugs include:

Envision A Way Through

Cannabis and Parkinson

Establishing safety from suicide does not necessarily mean the suicidal thoughts have completely stopped. Thoughts and intentions can change from day to day, so continue having candid conversations and accessing help from trained professionals as needed.

If you or your loved one has decided to move forward with a commitment to safety, what comes next?

Two Areas In Which Parkinsons Disease May Bring About Death

I. Falls

PD patients are at an increased risk of falling and bad falls can lead to death. This usually occurs as a complication of a fall that requires hospitalization, particularly if it involves surgery. While most people do not fracture their hips when they fall, some do, and hip surgery, while routine, is still major surgery. It carries the risk of infection, delirium related to pain medications and anesthesia, heart failure, pneumonia, blood clots in the legs that then go to the lungs, and general weakness from immobility. Hip fractures are probably the main cause for death for those who fall, but people can fracture other bones and require surgery. They may fracture their ribs, which leads to reduced coughing, because of the pain, and an increased risk of lung infections . It is surprisingly uncommon for Parkinsons Disease patients to die from brain injuries related to falls, but it still may occur.

II. Pneumonia

PD patients also may develop pneumonias completely unrelated to difficulties with swallowing, just like their non-PD friends and relatives.

Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease

While it is known that the symptoms of Parkinsons disease occur when many nerve cells in the substantia nigra area of the brain die, it is still unclear what causes these cells to die. A review of the latest research evidence from the Parkinson’s UK suggests that a combination of genes and the environment may trigger the disease. Genetic research has identified genes which are linked to Parkinsons and it is possible that in some cases of young-onset Parkinsons, one or more of these genes may be abnormal. Other research has looked for environmental causes, for example toxins which have caused the dopamine producing cells to die.

The Reality Of Managing Symptoms

Dr. Benjamin Walter, of the Center for Neuro-Restoration at Cleveland Clinic, said that the average person isnt accustomed to the strict regimen of multiple medications a day thats part of everyday life for people with Parkinsons.

Most people feel burdened just taking an antibiotic, which can be difficult to remember. Now, imagine someone who has Parkinsons the minimal dosing is usually three times a day, Walter said.

He explained that the need to frequently take medication is because it usually only lasts in a persons bloodstream for 90 minutes.

Once the medication gets into the brain, its converted to dopamine and stored in dopamine neurons, which recycles and reuses that medication over and over until it is depleted. Now, its not uncommon to have patients on meds four or five times a day, he said.

Walter stressed that when discussing Parkinsons and off periods, no two people are the same.

Parkinsons is a highly variable disease. Some people will experience different motor symptoms and tremors than others.

For example, some people freeze when they walk, while others dont.

He said the off periods can be terrifying for many people and also cause a different symptom anxiety.

Walter said that its important for those taking care of a person with Parkinsons to understand how dangerous off periods can be.

He stressed the importance of making sure patients get their medications on schedule so that everything is kept in working order.

Oligomers Disrupt Cell Membrane Integrity

Why You Need Balls to Beat Parkinson’s Disease

In the new study, the researchers observed what happens when a protein called alpha synuclein malfunctions and forms into clusters called oligomers, which are toxic to brain cells.

They used solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to characterize different structural features of the oligomers and then examined how the features influenced their interaction with the cells. They used brain cells from rats as well as brain cells sampled from human brain tumors.

The study is significant because the team found a way to keep the normally unstable oligomers stable for long enough to observe a level of detail that has not been seen before. Once they form, oligomers very quickly either enter cells, dissolve, or turn into long fibers.

It is a bit like if you put a piece of extremely hot metal on to a plastic surface, explains co-senior study author Dr. Alfonso De Simone, of the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London. In a fairly short space of time it will burn a hole through the plastic.

He suggests that the oligomers ability to disrupt the integrity of the membrane is a crucial step in the process that eventually kills the brain cell.

Parkinsons Is A Walk In The Park

When I was first diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, I was naïve to believe that I would only be inconvenienced by a slower pace or struggle with a slight tremor. That was based on the only person I knew who had Parkinsons Michael J. Fox. He didnt look that bad. Maybe I will get a mild case of PD kind of like the watered-down version. Ignorance is bliss, eh?

Oh man, was I wrong. I learned quickly that Parkinsons would negatively impact many facets of my life and that each day will present a challenge of some sort. Parkinsons isnt a walk in the park. It is emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. But the one thing that you can count on is your Wolfpack . They will take that stroll with you through the botanical garden of life.

Engage with the community by asking a question, telling your story, or participating in a forum.

How To Ease The Transition

Frank discussions with family members and doctors are often enough to convince people with Parkinsonâs disease to modify their driving. Some people may need additional input from a support group, lawyer, or financial planner to ease the transition.

Some people with Parkinson’s disease can continue driving under strict guidelines, although the long-term goal will still be to eventually stop driving. Guidelines for limited driving may include:

  • Drive only on familiar roads
  • Limit drives to short trips
  • Avoid rush-hour traffic and heavily traveled roads
  • Restrict drives to daylight hours during good weather

Itâs important for family and friends to find ways to help their loved one reduce their need to drive. These include arranging for groceries, meals, and prescriptions to be delivered to the home, or for barbers or hairdressers to come to the home.

Itâs also important to help your loved one become accustomed to using alternate methods of transportation, such as:

  • Rides from family and friends
  • Taxi cabs
  • Public buses, trains, and subways
  • Walking

Your local Area Agency on Aging can help you find transportation services for a loved one. Eldercare Locator, a service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, can also assist. Its phone number is 800-677-1116,

If your loved one refuses to voluntarily limit or stop driving, despite a demonstrated need to do so, you may need to take more aggressive steps, such as:

  • Hiding the car keys

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