Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder, and the first symptom is movement problems. Smooth and coordinated movements of body muscles are made possible by dopamine, a substance in the brain. Dopamine is produced in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra.
In Parkinson’s, the cells of the substantia nigra begin to die. When this happens, dopamine levels decrease. When dopamine levels drop by 60 to 80 percent, Parkinson’s symptoms appear.
Some early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dementia can begin several years before movement problems develop. These early symptoms include:
The four main movement problems seen are:
Secondary symptoms include:
Other associated symptoms may include:
Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may go unnoticed. The body may be trying to warn you about a movement disorder with
The exact cause of Parkinson’s is unknown. Both genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Some scientists believe that viruses can also cause Parkinson’s.
Low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, a substance that regulates dopamine, are associated with Parkinson’s.
Abnormal proteins called Lewy bodies have also been found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s. Scientists do not know what role, if any, Lewy bodies play in the development of Parkinson’s.
While there is no known cause, research has identified groups of people who are more likely to develop the condition, including:
Treatment for Parkinson’s disease cognitive disorder depends on a combination of the following:
In almost all cases, medication is needed to help control the various physical and mental health symptoms associated with the disease.
Surgical interventions are reserved for people who do not respond to medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.
During deep brain stimulation (DBS), surgeons implant electrodes in specific brain areas. A generator attached to the electrodes sends pulses to help relieve symptoms.
In January 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a pump therapy called Duopa. This pump delivers a combination of levodopa and carbidopa. To use the pump, the doctor must operate to place the pump near the small intestine.
There is no specific test to diagnose dementia with features of Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosis is based on medical history, physical and neurological examination, as well as an examination of signs and symptoms.
Imaging tests, such as a CAT scan or MRI, may be used to rule out other diseases. A dopamine transporter (DAT) scan may also be used. Although these tests do not confirm Parkinson’s disease, they can help rule out other conditions and help your doctor make a diagnosis.
Parkinson’s complications can greatly reduce the quality of life and prognosis. For example, people with Parkinson’s can experience dangerous falls and blood clots in the lungs and legs. These complications can be fatal. Appropriate treatment improves prognosis and increases life expectancy.
You may not be able to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s, but you can work to overcome obstacles and complications to have a better quality of life for a long time.
Parkinson’s disease is not fatal. However, the complications associated with Parkinson’s can shorten the lifespan of people diagnosed with the disease.
Having Parkinson’s increases your risk of developing potentially life-threatening complications, such as experiencing the following:
These complications can cause serious health problems. They can even be fatal.
It is not known how much Parkinson’s shortens life expectancy. One study examined the 6-year survival rates of nearly 140,000 people with Parkinson’s. In this 6-year period, 64% of people with Parkinson’s died.
Additionally, the study found that 70 percent of the subjects in the study had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease dementia. Those diagnosed with memory impairment had a lower survival rate.
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, meaning symptoms usually worsen over time.
You may experience symptoms such as:
Movements are significantly slower, which slows down activities. Balance issues also become more critical, so falls are more common.
You will need a walker or assistive device to stand in more advanced stages.
Reactions and muscle movements are also significantly slowed down. Living alone can be unsafe and possibly dangerous.
In the most advanced stage, severe symptoms require round-the-clock assistance. Standing will be difficult and maybe not impossible. A wheelchair will most likely be required.
Also, at this stage, people with Parkinson’s may experience confusion, delusions, and hallucinations. These complications of the disease can start in the later stages.
Parkinson’s dementia is one of the complications of Parkinson’s disease. It causes people to face problems in reasoning, thinking and problem-solving. This problem is quite common – 50 to 80 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience some degree of dementia.
Parkinson’s disease destroys chemical receptor cells in the brain. Over time, this can lead to dramatic changes, symptoms, and complications.
Some people are more likely to develop Parkinson’s dementia.
Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease dementia. Instead, the doctor focuses on treating other symptoms. Sometimes medications used for other types of dementia can be helpful.
Doctors and researchers do not know what causes Parkinson’s. They are also trying to understand why it progresses differently in each person. That is why it is unclear how to prevent this disease.
Every year, researchers investigate what causes Parkinson’s to find out what can be done to prevent it. Recent research suggests that lifestyle factors—such as physical activity and an antioxidant-rich diet—may have a protective effect.
If you have a family history of Parkinson’s disease, you may consider genetic testing. Specific genes are associated with Parkinson’s. But it is essential to know that having these gene mutations does not mean you will get this disease.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of genetic testing.
Communicating with dementia patients can be challenging and may test your patience. Consequently, learning how to deal with communication difficulties when interacting with your loved one is essential.
A quiet voice can calm them down. So try to speak in the most positive way possible. Communicating with people with dementia requires patience because it can be mentally exhausting. Although you may feel anger, frustration, fear, or anger, do not worry. All these feelings are entirely normal. If you feel overwhelmed, try to find a support group. You should also be your best self with your loved one.
Experts are still not sure what causes Parkinson’s. It is a lifelong disease that can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medical treatments. If you are experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s or have been diagnosed with it and are looking for new ways to manage it, talk to your doctor.
Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.