FAQ - parkinson disease, secondary
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What are the secondary and third systems involved in Parkinson's Disease?

I'm doing a school project for science. I already know that the primary system involved is the nervous system.
Thanks in advance!

As Parkinson's disease progresses, all systems in the body can be affected. Parkinson's disease has both motor and non-motor symptoms

The central nervous system would be the first system as you have already indicated. Muscular system would be 2nd. The gastrointestinal system would probably be next but according to the lists below, that means coupling the respiratory with the G-I track. Meaning that these would be 3 & 4.

Circulatory System (heart, blood, vessels)
Respiratory System (nose, trachea, lungs)
Immune System (many types of protein, cells, organs, tissues)
Skeletal System (bones)
Excretory System (lungs, large intestine, kidneys)
Urinary System (bladder, kidneys)
Muscular System (muscles)
Endocrine System (glands)
Digestive System (mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines)
Nervous System (brain, spinal cord, nerves)
Reproductive System (male and female reproductive organs)

or you can look at it as organ systems:

For a good overview, see:

Here's the thing, Parkinson's disease which is probably a cluster of parkinsonian syndromes, can take a variety of forms for development. Not every patient develops every symptom and not every symptom develops at the same place in progression. Progression rate is different from patient to patient. One thing is that although there are variations, there are also commonalities shared by a majority of patients.

The most common initial symptoms involve tremor, rigidity-stiffness, bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and postural instability (balance issues)

We have CNS (autonomic nervous system) Muscular, followed by gastrointestinal which also relates to muscular but in a different way.  (+ info)

which is considered a secondary symptom of parkinson disease?

The primary symptoms are TRAP:
Athkinesia (Bradykinesia)
Postural Instability (balance and stooped posture issues)

Secondary symptoms:
Difficulty swallowing
Choking, coughing, or drooling
Excessive salivation
Excessive sweating
Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
Loss of intellectual capacity
Anxiety, depression, isolation
Scaling, dry skin on the face or scalp
Oily skin
Slow response to questions
Small cramped handwriting or microphagia
Soft, whispery voice
in addition
loss of sense of smell
freezing in gait or movement

There are also side effects of Parkinson's medications which might also be considered secondary or tertiary symptoms:
orthostatic hypotension
dyskinesia - dystonia
hallucinations or illusions - part of the cognitive changes
excessive sleepiness
weight loss
dental issues
vision problems
sexual dysfunction

There are more but these are some of the most obvious symptoms  (+ info)

Parkinson disease?

My father who is 71 years old suffering from parkinson since last 5 years. He is active, mobile,energitic and mentally alert too. Goes for morning walk, yoga and exercise daily since long. Right now his hand rather palm shakes not all the time but yes it does and at times he feels that he has to put efferts now to walk means now he drags his legs while walking, gets tired after some job. Couple of years back, he had high chelestrol level + high BP, so was on restricted diet he is loosing weight also is only 47 kg. Doctor say after 7 years parkinson takes bad shape He is on allopathy medicene and gets giddyness with that. I am worried about him please help me and is there any alternate therepy also...please advise

Parkinsons is a HORRIBLE disease. I watched my grandfather suffer with if for many years. I'm sorry you are going through the same thing. They have not found a complete cure for the disease just meds that help keep tremors down etc. The best thing to do is keep him comfortable and be there for him when he needs you. Its going to get harder and harder but you just need to be strong and be there. If you need to talk please email me. Like I said my grandfather had it and I know this is a very hard time for you and the rest of your family. Best wishes. -Allie  (+ info)

How likely is a sibling of a Parkinson's Disease patient to have same diagnosis?

My sister who is 64 has just been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. How likely or what are the chances that me or our other sisters have the same?
How does one get Parkinson's? I have a Fibromyalgia, which has some similarities in diagnoses. Is it possible/likely for me to have Parkinson's later in life, as I'm in my 40's now.?

while it is not strictly genetic--it does tend to run in families and can be hereditary


Heredity. Having one or more close relatives with Parkinson's increases the chances that you'll also develop the disease, although your risk is still less than 5 percent. Recent evidence suggests a crucial role for small contributions from many different genes that program brain architecture.  (+ info)

How does parkinson disease affect cells of the body?

and what cells of the body does parkinson disease affect?
thanks and NO STUIPID ANSWERS! i need it for a project that is due tommorow!

Parkinson's disease results from loss of dopamine producing cells in the part of the brain called the Substantia Nigra.  (+ info)

How long does it take for parkinson's disease to cause you death?

My grandpa has had parkinson's disease for a long time. 5 years ago, he was seemingly healthy, could walk and everything. And now, he cant walk, cant talk good, twicthing alot, and very thin. Im really worried that his time to drawing near. If anyone has had a family member with parkinsons, please let me know everything that happened.

My father-in-law has Parkinson's and I cared for him in our home until 3 yrs ago when his condition required more care than we could do at home. He has had this disease for over 20 yrs and is now in a vegetative state in a nursing facility.
Because he was a law enforcement officer, he was always in very good physical shape. This contributed to him being mobile for far longer than anyone ever thought.
Parkinson's is a terminal disease;however people don't die from Parkinson's usually. They die from falls or accidents because of the symptoms of Parkinsons. Like wandering around because of dementia and getting hit by autos. Or falling around the house and breaking a bone which
makes them bedbound much quicker.
Your grandpa needs to take in @2500 calories a day to sustain himself as Parkinson's twitching and involuntary movements burn calories constantly. Virtually impossible to do as they get worse and can no longer eat properly. My father-in-law has had a feeding tube for 2 yrs now. It actually helped him gain back lost weight though he'll never be fat. He is stable now and bedridden,unable to talk, sleeps 75% of the time, unable to move really. The human body is strong though as long as it is receiving nutrition.
There is no telling how long my father in law can hang on in these conditions unless he sustains some sort of infection.
He is coughing a great deal these days as he can no longer control his throat muscles to swallow and chokes on his own saliva. Its very sad to watch and even sadder I'm sure for my husband.
ENJOY your grandpa's time while he is lucid and able to be with you. Thats the only advice I can offer you. And take the gift that this teaches us HOW precious life is and the ability to just put one foot in front of the other.
And I'm sending you a Cyber-hug because this is a suckee suckee disease that is hard on EVERYBODY :~(  (+ info)

What is the cure for parkinson's disease? How can it be reversed and completely cured?

One of my best friend has Parkinson's disease going into 4th or 5th year. He is taking medication to control movement and the dosage is now up to 15 pills a day. Is there a cure/treatment for this disease? What can be done to reverse it? Are there any therapies to halt this disease? Are there any herbal suplements?

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease. When symptoms grow severe, doctors usually prescribe levodopa (L-dopa), which helps replace the brain's dopamine (the cause of involuntary movements is due to the decreased dopamine levels). In patients who are very severely affected, a kind of brain surgery known as pallidotomy has reportedly been effective in reducing symptoms. Another kind of brain surgery, in which healthy dopamine-producing tissue is transplanted into the brain, is also being tested.
Gene therapy offers great potential for PD and many other brain disorders. With this type of therapy, viruses are engineered to deliver genes that increase the supply of dopamine, prevent cell death, or promote regeneration of neurons.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms—most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems. The procedure is also used to treat essential tremor, a common neurological movement disorder. At present, the procedure is used only for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications.
DBS uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator—similar to a heart pacemaker and approximately the size of a stopwatch—to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and PD symptoms.
Some people are not able to undergo deep brain stimulation surgery to alleviate their Parkinson’s disease symptoms. For these people, a non-invasive surgical approach — like gamma knife surgery — might be beneficial. While gamma knife is not as effective as deep brain stimulation, it does offer another treatment option for some patients. The gamma knife is a machine that emits hundreds of powerful, highly focused gamma radiation beams. The gamma knife allows for a more precise and concentrated treatment than do other radiation treatment options. This helps the doctors target the diseased area of the brain while sparing the surrounding healthy areas. Gamma knife treatment has up to a 70 percent to 90 percent success rate, which depends on the patient and the disorder for which he or she is being treated.  (+ info)

How long do people live after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease?

My grandfather is 80 years old, very tall and thin. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease about a year ago. He is on medication but it seems to have stopped working now. My grandparents live in a very desolate area and I doubt he will be able to get new medication.

How long does he have? On average?

I am so sorry to hear of this. Parkinson's disease as you know is not curable and hard to even treat. I wish I could give you an exact time frame but, not even a doctor knows. Some people I have taken care of had it for 20 yr before passing away. Other people have it for 6 mon. and pass away. Not to minimize your grandfather but only to help you understand.... he is 80 years old. He is at life expectancy. He has accomplished a lot in those 80 years and will leave a great legacy. So please start focusing on all that he has done. Start collecting pictures, awards, certificates, newspaper clippings, etc. Talk to family members and ask them questions and write down all that you can remember. Look forward to making a book that can be put together in a nice hard covered journal. If he served in any foreign wars find out if he has metals.
What a great memorial book you can make about your grandfather. You have a lot of work to do in a short time.
So the key thing is to focus on what he accomplished and done and let nature take its course in how much time he has left  (+ info)

How to deal with chocking and dry mouth complication in Parkinson's disease?

My mother is probably having side effect of certain drugs given to her for treatment of Parkinson's disease. She complains to acute stiffness in the neck, chocking throat due to which unable to eat or drink properly and dryness in the mouth. Medicines being given are Syndopa, Quitipine, Amantrel, Pramirol, Mirnite, Zolfresh & Ativan. Any suggestion, how to deal with and get some relief?

I am sorry to hear about your mother's condition.

It is more likely that the symptoms which you mention are related to the Parkinson's disease itself rather than the medications. However, some of these side effects can be made worse by the medications. Not knowing your mother's disease progression and after going through the prescription medication list, it is hard to know what is medication and what is PD. What about over-the-counter medications? Are there more that should be on the list?

To begin with the sypmtomatic issues:
Neck stiffness, for example, is an early symptom of Parkinson's in women. The treatments for it are levodopa, exercise and massage. I would suggest that if your mother lives in an area where there is a massage therapy school and she has transportation, that she have at least a medical massage every week. The reason I suggest a school is because the cost is about half. It is almost always an out of pocket expense because even though it is a vital therapy for PD, it is rarely covered by health insurance. Medical massage will help with rigidity, range of motion, pain, relieving muscle knots, relaxation and general well-being.

Although choking and swallowing problems are considered non-motor symptoms, they are also muscle problems. Vocal exercises can do a lot to keep the problems from getting worse. Good vocal exercises performed daily can help breathing, swallowing, speaking. They can promote self confidence as a person can rejoin conversation without being asked to repeat themselves.

Below is a link to an article which includes another link to a DVD which my husband has found very helpful. The DVD is called Voice Aerobics and was designed and is led by a speech pathologist. Although it is not the Lee Silverberg method, it is practical and easy to use.
In the right column are links to more exercises for the body, the voice, for breathing and relaxation under the general heading of Exercises.

It is important that your mother begin exercising, especially her throat because choking is the leading cause of death among Parkinson's patients as it leads to aspiration pneumonia and bronchitis. It also deprives them of the enjoyment of eating as many eventually have to go to feeding tubes.

The next link is to three articles about weight loss and PD and also dehydration. There is also a discussion about dry mouth. In the articles about weight loss, which will occur with your mother if she can't swallow, are several areas of discussion about why PD patients suffer from weight loss.

One last word about not eating because of swallowing problems. It is important that your mother have nutrition so I would suggest going to things like ensure, smoothies, protein shakes timed at least an hour after her levodopa so that there won't be an impediment to the effectiveness of the l-dopa.

I'm not familiar with the drugs your mother is taking which suggests that she is not in the USA. Lets's take a look at them one at a time.

Syndopa is levodopa. It does not include the carbidopa or lodosyn which she seems to need now. Here it is known as Sinemet. It is also known as Atamet, Paracopa, Co-careldopa in the UK as well as several other names world-wide. It is possible that the levodopa alone is no longer as effective as it should be. She needs to discuss this with her neurologist.

Quitipine? Do you mean Quetiapine? or Seroquel? It is an anti-psychotic with a sedative effect and might have some cognitive value for her. AND it does have a side effect of Difficult Swallowing, stiff muscles, increased urination (which she might not be discussing with anyone). An additional side effect is increased thirst and dry mouth. So this is something to debate with her doctor. I am wondering if the controlled release might deliver a more constant but lower dose. If not, it may be time to titrate down. Unless there is a worse symptom which it is treating.

Amantrel appears to be amantadine hydrochloride an anti-viral which is still sometimes used because it is an anti-inflammatory, improved muscle control, reduces stiffness and levodopa induced dyskinesia. It may also stimulate cognition and energy.

Pramirol is also known as Mirapex or Pramipexole a dopamine agonist which can cause cognitive issues, hallucinations and compulsive behaviors. It is used for motor symptoms and as early monotherapy as well as adjunct therapy to levodopa. It can cause drowsiness. Apparently your mother is reacting well to this medication. Dopamine agonists bind to dopamine receptors. Eventually they begin to wear off increasingly and this could be happening to your mother. Sometime dopamine antagonists are added but this for a discussion with her doctor.

Mirnite: (Remeron, Mirtaz, Olsalazine, Mirtazipine) is a combined serotonin reuptake inhibitor. One of the side effects is dry mouth. Interestingly enough it is available as a sublingual for people with swallowing issues. It is used to treat depression.

Zolfresh is a short-term sleep disorder medication. Sleep disorders are also part of PD. It is also known as Zolpidem. Other names include: Adormix, Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Damixan, Hypnogen, Ivedal, Lioran, Myslee, Nytamel, Sanval, Somidem, Stilnoct, Stilnox, Stilnox CR, Sucedal, Zoldem, Zolnod and Zolpihexal. It is a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic which potentiates GABA. It is an anticonvulsant and a muscle relaxant. Side effects include impaired judgement and reasoning, short-term memory loss. Note that it is apparently not expected to be used long term.

Ativan (lorazepam) Is another anti-anxiety medication. Unlike the Zolfresh, this one is a benzodiazepine. The common side effects are sedation, dizziness, weakness and unsteadiness. depression. disorientation, memory impairment, tremor, blurred vision, slurred speech and several others including Central Nervous System depressant effects when taken with other CNS depressants.

It sounds as if she might not need everything she is taking and it is most certainly time to present the same list to her doctor, just in case the doctor is not aware of all of the meds she is taking  (+ info)

What are the most common treatments for Parkinson's disease?

I'm doing a brochure for a health class I'm in and I want to list the most common treatments in brief sentences. Also, are there any lifestyle and/or nutritional changes this disease requires?

Also, what is the prognosis, and how do people with Parkinson's usually cope with it?

Thanks a bunch!

There are several forms of treatment for Parkinson's disease depending upon how close you live to neuro-motor disorder specialists, the stage of disease progression, how close you are to exercise, swim and massage therapy, yoga centers, the kind of support network (usually family) you have.

The most common treatment for PD in the western world is medication beginning with Sinemet (which by the way is often a mistake when prescribed right after diagnosis

Forced exercise therapy for PD has been found to be very effective in reducing the need or at least dosage of PD meds for reasons not fully determined byt probably because of endorphins and brain plasticity or may help to restore some chemical homeostasis.

Yoga is an excellent area of exercise to help with relaxation and stress relief, stretching, balance, breathing, harmony of body and spirit.

Swim and nautilus exercise are also very helpful in maintaining strength, flexibility, range of motion, balance.

Voice exercises with a trained, licensed therapist will help breathing, swallowing and speaking issues so common in PD.

Medical Massage therapy is a must for pain relief through muscle release and relaxation and strengthing the immune system. This must be performed by a certified massage therapist.

Nutrition should not be overlooked. A proper diet can not only weed out the harmful contributors to oxidative stress, it can also provide the deficient nutrients which may not be included in a PwP's diet. Nutrition for PD can actually be very beneficial. As a matter of fact in India some PwPs have used Mucuna Puriens for thousands of years to replace dopamine naturally.
Here are several articles about nutrition:

Supplements and alternative therapy. You should take a look at the University of Maryland website for a broad impressive range of complementary treatments:

Another area to consider is Parkinson's depression. Clinical treatment at this point is often counselling with patient and patient and family. The goal is to restore some feeling of self worth. There are a number of medications to treat depression but many are contraindicated for PD. Trained personnel are important.

Lastly are occupational therapy and proper aids for the PwP. Getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating are things we take for granted. These can be very difficult for a PD patient. So your brochure needs to have occupational therapist who can teach the patient new ways to approach old tasks and now when it is time to direct them to the proper utensils, canes, walkers, whatever to assist them.

The prognosis is death but when that will occur can be years or decades from the diagnosis. There are several stages along the way and each one will require specialists who know about those stages, caregivers who can properly assist the patient and end stage facilities.
Since most PD death is from aspiration pneumonia followed by falls, you can see why the exercise, voice exercise and nutrition are so important.

There is also DBS - deep brain stimulation a reality for many mid to later stage patients for whom medications no longer work or work well. There are improvements in the pipeline here as well as in less invasive surgeries.

There are no definitive diagnostic tests but the more training the medical staff has, the easier it is to achieve the correct diagnosis and the best course of therapy for the Parkinson's patient on this difficult journey. But a brochure would stress that the trained medical staff is tracking all of the latest developments in diagnostics, treatments and cures.

Short version ideas:
Use the journey concept and go from there. The goal is Quality of Life as well as quantity of life. The stops along the way or the cars on the train (or whatever) can be the special areas of focus listed above. As the patient may have to add or change medications, that can be another car. If your actual design project is to promote a treatment facility, you could structure the cars to coordinate with the specialties offered. Your actual design can be a fold out in the format or shape of a train with each car another area of specialty or stage of the disease. How that is organized is up to you.

I can be reached through Yahoo Answers if you have questions and also through the site below.  (+ info)

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