Parkinson's Disease

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    The risk for Parkinson's disease increases with age, but no one is completely immune. Although rare, children and young adults can have Parkinson's. Keep in mind, though, that it's quite rare for someone to develop the condition before the age of 50.

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    A , Neurology, answered
    If you have Parkinson's disease and tend to fall asleep during a particular activity, tell your doctor. You might be experiencing sleep attacks, which are different from normal sleepiness. Also, keep track of any hallucinations or delusions you might be experiencing. Medications can sometimes cause nocturnal wanderings, hallucinations, delusions, or other problems. Adjusting your dosage of a particular medication or adding a new prescription might help with those symptoms. If your sleep is still disturbed even after following your doctor’s recommendations about the timing of your medication doses, consider getting an examination by a sleep specialist trained in managing patients with neurologic disorders.
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    Parkinson's disease progresses differently in each person it affects. Some people become disabled relatively swiftly; others have only minor problems that worsen gradually.

    Typically, the disease progresses until the person starts to notice distinct changes in the ability to speak, to walk or to perform other activities of daily living.

    In later stages, people with Parkinson's disease can develop muffled speech, a shuffling walk, small and illegible handwriting, depression, difficulty chewing, difficulty swallowing, a blank stare and constipation.

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    Parkinson’s disease can affect vision in many ways. A slower blink can cause symptoms of a dry eye and loss of vision due to a poor quality tear film. Initial treatment is usually lubricating drops. However, there are many other causes of visual loss, visual fatigue and reading difficulty in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease can affect the extraocular motility making eye tracking, required for reading, much more difficult.  Optic neuropathy or a deterioration of the optic nerve has also been seen in Parkinson’s disease. 
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    A , Neurology, answered
    When the person with Parkinson’s disease gets stuck in a freeze, try taking his hands in yours (as you face him) and gently pumping your hands up and down in an alternating motion.
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    A answered
    A reduction in serotonin may be part of the reason why people with Parkinson's disease experience depression. Serotonin is a chemical within the brain that helps to balance moods. Some people may think they are depressed simply because they have been diagnosed with a long-term illness, but the depression could be caused by the Parkinson’s itself. Knowing this may help people overcome the stigma of getting treatment for their depression.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Educating yourself about Parkinson’s disease is a great way to get involved in your own healthcare. The American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA) and the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) are wonderful resources for accurate, up-to-date information. Enlist your friends and family members to do research, too. It will give you all something positive to do. Collect information from newspapers, magazines, and medical journals. If there is a university near your home, visit the medical school library or search for reputable resources on the Internet. Share information and learn together.

    Bring articles and information to your next doctor’s appointment, so that you can discuss the findings and see how they relate to your case. You may even find that you’ve read medical journal articles before your doctor has had a chance to read them. It never hurts to be proactive when it comes to your health. Be sure that you and your family know how any prescribed medications work, what the side effects are, and which side effects you should report to your doctor. Do not take any medication, including nonprescription products such as vitamins, dietary supplements, allergy and cold medicines, pain relievers, or herbal remedies, without first consulting your doctor.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    If you are concerned about your loved one driving safely, and it is difficult for you to take the car keys away or deny the person the right to drive, talk with your loved one’s doctor. Often, a trusted doctor can convince their patient to quit driving when a loved one cannot.

    Some doctors may be reluctant to restrict driving privileges. In that case, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may be your ally. If the person with Parkinson's disease applies for a handicapped parking permit or for disabled plates, she will be required to take a driver’s test; the DMV may then revoke the person’s driving privileges.

    A No-Start Battery Switch provides peace of mind. Convincing a loved one that he is unsafe to drive is often a challenging task. By attaching this device to the car battery, you can, with the turn of a knob, disable the car and make it impossible to start. When you want to start the car, simply turn the knob in the opposite direction to enable the battery again. Designed to affect starting only, it will not affect the clock, the radio, or the car’s computer settings.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    If a person with Parkinson’s disease begins hallucinating, try to explain that the medicine isn’t working and is causing the hallucination. Keep notes on what time of day the hallucinations occur; also record what was taken and when the medications were last taken. This will help the doctor if the medications need to be adjusted. Adjusting the medications may not make the hallucinations disappear, but they may be less disturbing. (For example, if the person sees large green giants, medication adjustment may cause the person to see little green ants.)
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    A Diagnostic Radiology, answered on behalf of
    Vascular parkinsonism is a condition due to multiple small strokes that produces the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The condition can look very much like Parkinson's disease except that tremor rarely is due to vascular parkinsonism.
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