FAQ - parkinson disease
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What are the best foods to give someone that has parkinson's disease?

My dad has Parkinson's disease and we are finding it hard to work out what to feed him that is good for him to eat and easy for him to handle or hold.
I was just wondering what other people have had sucess with?
He can't eat sandwiches anymore he finds that they are hard to swallow?
Any suggestions would be wonderfully appreciated

Find out the tastes he likes and then make sure the food is in small pieces. Parkinson's can cause a choking problem. My father liked the single serving Dinty Moore beef stew. Later, we would mash it up for him. Don't get caught up in trying to feed him healthy food. Feed him what he can eat and enjoy. A nutritional drink can be added if he will drink them. Get a supply of drinking straws that flex.

Does he like milk shakes? Carnation Instant Breakfast with some ice cream in a blender is great.

Any food can be mashed or puree'd and taste good. Tacos or lasagna can be put in a blender and the tastes are the same as when the solid food is chewed. .

Go to a medical supply store and get him Good Grips eating utensils. They have fat handles and can be bent for easier use.

Your focus should be to keep him comfortable. Try to keep his eating enjoyable. His cholesterol level is not a concern at this point.

My father had Parkinson's. He would have preferred to die of a heart attack.  (+ info)

What Are All Of The Specifics Of Parkinson's Disease?

Please give me all or any of the specifics mainly on the topic about Parkinson's Disease. How does it affect the body? What are the symptoms? Will there ever be a cure for this disease? Please answer any of these questions that I have asked about Parkinson's Disease. Thank You All for any help, Jerry

everything you need to know about Parkinson's disease:
http://www.neurologychannel.com/parkinsonsdisease/index.shtml  (+ info)

What is the genetic basis for Parkinson's Disease?

I am currently working on a project for my biology class on parkinson's disease. in one of the boxes i have to put the genetic basis for PD.
(for example, is it sex linked, controlled by one or multiple alleles, non disjunction, random mutation of a certain gene, etc.)
I can't seem to find these answers anywhere.
Any answers or suggestions of sites would be great, thanks.

The jury is still out for the full genetic basis for PD.

The latest concept is that Parkinson's disease is genetic and can remain dormant for generations. One reason that PD was not thought to be primarily or strictly genetic in nature was that sometimes many generations were skipped. It is possible that other factors have to act as the trigger. Environmental, medications, heavy metal exposure and the like.

I put the best link last but read down first as the expository info will be in the earlier links.

The first link is for two studies completed in 2008 by two researchers from the Mayo clinic where PD studies have been conducted for many years.

In one study a mutation of LRRK2-R1628P has been traced back to 2,500 BC. LRRK2-G2385R has been traced back 4,500 years.
Another study found that LRRK2-R1441C can increase the chances of developing PD by 10X.


Next let's go to the LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinease2) autosomal dominant mutation which you can read about here for starters because it has been identified in almost 5% of PD cases:


There is a study currently recruiting for a LRRK2 study in Maryland:

Glucocerebrosidase gene
GBA mutations (N370S, L444P, 84GG, IVS+1, V394L, and R496H) that are most common among Ashkenazi Jews

and GBA-Gly2019SER here:

A study published in 2007 indicated that genetic mutations were 2X as common in YOPD (Young or early onset Parkinson's Disease) and in people of Jewish Ancestry - specifically Ashkenazic)

Here is an abstract link about DJ-1, an autosomal recessive linked to PD. The abstract also references PARK6 and PARK7:

The best gene data base is here - it is a public and you can link to the site to see it:

In this chart you will see the gene, the number of reports and ethnic groups
Naturally it begins with LRRK2. PARK2 followed by SNCA, CYP2D6, PINK1, MAPT, UCHL1, MAOB, PARK7 and APOE
It then lists the top 10 genes with the most variants followed by the top 10 with the most negative reports.
There are several other comparisons you can do at the site, it is amazing. Check it out.

While it is true that more men than women develop PD that may be because of a bioprotectiveness of estrogen. Which of course ends at sometime with menopause.

You should probably search for Chinese - HAN - gene - Parkinson's disease. You might find the rest of the answer which you need. There are also several familial studies. I have read the abstracts but not the full studies.

Here are a few which should help:

Here's a familial study from Italy but it is older, 2003:

To properly search just enter each term with Parkinson's disease and you will find a host of abstracts and some articles about the abstracts. You will not find definitive answers because they aren't there yet. Pd is a complicated disease.  (+ info)

What are the treatments for Parkinson disease and what will be the medical cost for each of them?

Please answer me in detail about Parkinson disease.

Although many doctors still use the drug levodopa (usually in the form of Sinemet) as the first treatment for Parkinson's disease, more and more, experts are recommending that newer drugs, such as Requip and Mirapex be used first. Levodopa is a drug that is converted to dopamine, which increases levels of dopamine in the brain. But large doses can cause disabling side effects, including nausea and painless (but emotionally distressing) involuntary body movements called dystonia. Often, a second drug (a COMT inhibitor such as Comtan or Tasmar) is used in combination with levodopa to maximize efficacy and minimize side effects.

The newer medications, such as Requip and Mirapex, are called dopamine agonists, another type of drug. They work by boosting any surviving dopamine-producing cells and increasing the sensitivity of cells in the brain to dopamine. That is, they make the patient's existing dopamine supply more effective. Other medications used to treat Parkinson's disease include selegiline and amantadine, which can be used alone to treat mild symptoms or in combination with levodopa in more advanced cases. Another class of medicines, known as the anticholinergics, may also be prescribed to help with symptoms such as tremor. Examples of anticholinergics used for Parkinson's disease include Cogentin and Artane.

Your doctor may prescribe or recommend other therapies to help with some of the complications of the disease such as constipation or bladder control problems.

Price of Congentin COGENTIN 2 mg x 100 $21.08

In cases where symptoms no longer respond to medication or become severely disabling, surgery may be recommended to destroy overactive areas of the brain. Although not perfect solutions -- there can be side effects and they may need to be repeated within a few years -- surgical procedures such as pallidotomy and thalamotomy do relieve symptoms and restore day-to-day function for many patients.

Several other promising treatment options are being tested. Small, implantable nerve stimulators have been effective at controlling tremor and reducing the need for medication, but long-term effects are unknown, and the units can be quite expensive.

Fetal cell transplantation is an experimental procedure that has shown mixed results. Although it can take months to see any benefit, some patients have shown significant and long-lasting improvements in rigidity and slowness of movement with the controversial procedure.  (+ info)

Can a person who has Parkinson disease know when they have to pass urine?

My mother has Parkinson's and tells me that she doesn't know when she has to pass urine.

You don't mention how long your mother has had Parkinson's disease, but I would ask you to consider this, that Parkinson's disease can sometimes lead to a form of dementia (organic brain failure).

Your mother may not be 'lying'. She may simply not recognise the signals that she's getting, telling her that she needs to empty her bladder.

In my own experience, one of the things that you might like to try is getting your mother to sit on the toilet every few hours, just to see if she can pass anything. Although it may cause some 'disagreement' between you as to why you're requesting her to keep going to the toilet, it will aid in your fight against incontinence. (I apologise unreservedly if I'm 'jumping the gun' here. I've certainly no wish to cause undue anxiety with regards to any untoward assertions that I may be accused of making.)

I wish both yourself and your mother the very best of luck and good health.  (+ info)

If left untreated, how long does a young person with Parkinson's disease have to live?

If left untreated, how long does a young person with Parkinson's disease have to live?
Thank you for your help yogiraj...

Surgery can cure this and you must not think about leaving yourself untreated which in simple words means suicide.You shouldn't even think of it as you are just 23 which is in early adult life.
Alternate therapy can cure you.As a healer myself, I can help if you are from India and can come to Amritsar.No charges or hidden costs of any type.  (+ info)

What are 3 important things we need to know about Parkinson's Disease?

im doing a project on Parkinson's Disease in Health 2 and in one of my slides i need to put 3 important things about that disease but i cant find any can you please help me find some.

There are several important things you can find at NINDS-NIH (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health, at MJFF (Michael J Fox Foundation),
PDF (Parkinson's Disease Foundation) or at several other websites and Parkinson's blogs.

But let's make this easier.

You could talk show the triangle which leads to dopamine cell death: Dopamine - alpha synuclein - calcium

You could talk about the shortage of the three neurotransmitters which lead to the imbalance of homeostasis in the brain:
dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin

Three types of symptoms in PD: motor, non-motor, sensory

Important things about the disease:
More men than women develop the disease (except in Japan)
Although between 40-60% of PwPs have Parkinson's depression and/or anxiety issues, the suicide rate is unexpectedly low
Depression, anxiety, loss of cognitive skills are non-motor symptoms of this disease

Parkinson's disease reduces life expectancy between 3-9 years but that does not include quality of life before death.
Leading causes of death for Parkinson's patients: Aspiration Pneumonia & bronchitis, Falls
Parkinson's disease is the 14th leading cause of death per CDC 2005

Parkinson's disease was not only known but had a name in Ayurvedic medicine in India:
"Kamp-vata" over 5,000 years ago
In China is was grouped with the conditions with "half the wind reduced"
In Western medicine in 1861-1862 Jean-Martin Charcot and Alfred Vulpain added more symptoms to James Parkinson's description of the Shaking Palsy in his essay published in 1817 and then named it after Parkinson.
note: the disease has been mentioned and described throughout history

There are three defined age groups for PD:
Juvenile 2-20 years
Young or Early Onset PD 21-50 or 55 years
And older age onset from 60 up
note: juvenile and much of early onset PD is felt to be genetic in origin with environmental triggers

Parkinson's disease is not easily diagnosed - various scans are actually used to rule out other conditions.
The actual diagnosis is supposed to be made by a neurologist specializing in motion disorders
Parkinson's is sometimes confused with PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), MSA (formerly known as Shy-Drager syndrome) and other parkinsonian conditions, Wilson's disease, Essential Tremor, Dystonia

Aside from medication, Forced Exercise, Massage and Nutritional Supplements can be powerful treatments for slowing the progression of PD

Parkinson's disease has several seemingly unrelated symptoms:
Movement disorders: tremor, freezing movement, slow movement, rigidity & stiffness
which affect fingers, toes curling, arms, legs, shoulders, swallowing, breathing, facial expression, GI problems, urinary problems, constipation, stooped shuffling gait, balance problems, cramped handwriting, lack of vocal expression, soft voice,
Non-motor issues include depression, sleep disorders, cognitive issues, loss of sense of smell, dementia, vision problems, dry or oily skin, dental issues, weight loss
Medication side-effects: dyskinesias (dystonia), hallucinations (which can also occur with disease) delusions, hypo-tension, nausea, .rash, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, impulse control, diarrhea...

I hope this helps.  (+ info)

What causes the side effects in Parkinson's Disease medication?

I have been working on this assignment for some time and it is proving a little tricky, basically I'm trying to work out the reasons why anti-parkinson's medication like the Dopamine Receptor agonist Apomorphine HCl causes it's various side effects. Why does it make patients feel sick? How does it make people suddenly fall asleep and what causes the hallucinations? If you have any ideas or can help point me in the right directions I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Well, as I've always believed, medication for anything seems to have a wide range of side effects therefore can't be actually that good for you, and therefore is made up of things in which your body reacts negatively to.

Hydrogen chloride will react with water and form hydrochloric ACID, which is actually a corrosive. I'm sure if a Parkinson disease medication has even a tiny amount of hydrogen chloride in it, that tiny bit will somehow, somewhere meet up with water in the body, and build up over time.

If one inhales hydrochloric acid fumes, a series of harmful, even fatal effects will happen, such as coughing, inflammation of internal mucosal areas, choking, lung enlargement, and more... plus if you touch it, it can burn you.

On another note, the dopamine receptors (which aid in neurological processes, such as the ones affected by PD medication) are targeted by the apomorphine (which has in the past been used for 'treatment' of homosexuality because of the idea it's a part of the brain that decides sexual preference).

Now, if apomorphine HCl targets the dopamine receptors (part of the neurological system and also the BRAIN), and HCl is practically poisonous to the human body and living cells, regardless of whether the drug helps produce dopamine in the body naturally, there are still going to be neurological side effects because of the toxic hydrochloric acid that is produced when the body absorbs the drug. If apomorphine can positively effect the CNS, then it definitely can negatively effect it, hence the hallucinations.

Also, the Central Nervous System includes the spine. If you ever took Biology (I'm guessing you did), you would have learned that there are specific nerves for specific parts of the body, including the gastric nerves attaching from the spine to the stomach, therefore causing the nausea.

Hope that helped at all.  (+ info)

My mom has Parkinson's Disease and has no medicine. Any suggestions on what can help her feel better?

My mom's medicine has ran out this year and she has to wait til Jan. 2010 for her insurance to kick in. She is in her 2nd or 3rd stage of Parkinson's and she needs some suggestions. She is not a rich woman, nor is she poor. Please any help would be more than appreciated. I wish i can help but i also dont know what i can do for her. Thank You sooo Much!

Your mother should not be without medication at any time during the stages of Parkinson's disease, so consider this an emergency. I am at a loss as to why her medical/prescription coverage has expired just over halfway through the calendar unless she is waiting for new coverage to begin but sobeit.

You already have some good answers but here is a slightly different approach.

The first thing she needs to do is have a frank discussion with her doctor about prescribing the generic versions if they are available. No, they are not always identical - not many controlled releases to provide a constant serum level for example - but close enough. There don't appear to be many if any PD meds on the $4.00 prescription list but that doesn't mean that a generic won't be much less expensive. Another reason to speak to her doctor is to find out if he has samples available. A final reason is to find out from her doctor's office if there are better medical plans which might be open to her.

Yes, she can contact the pharmaceutical companies but she is not necessarily a hardship case. There are people who can't afford even the generics on their limited incomes.

Not knowing what she takes, I'm going to guess that she is still on Sinemet, Atamat or a levadopa/carbadopa with/or perhaps Madopar CR, Comtan - possibly Stalevo. Most of these have generic versions as do Mirapex and several other MAOIs. Find out what she is taking.

Finding similar substitutes as supplements or alternatives but I'm not sure how well that is going to work in stage 2/3.

Make sure that her diet includes plenty of antioxidants. She can also take CoQ10 - the usual daily amount is 1200 mgs which puts it in the prescription medication expense column. Green tea, black tea should be daily. Caffeine can be helpful.

If there is no way to get the medications/generics, go to diet and try the levadopa rich foods such as mucuna puriens (fava or velvet beans) It will take some experimentation in the kitchen to prepare the properly and for her to find the right amount to eat every day but they are a staple in Aryuvedic PD treatment.

She also needs to be exercising regularly to keep her muscles from becoming too rigid. Regularly = daily. Anything less means one step forward and 3 steps back. Just maintaining the status quo is difficult. So something to consider is getting her on an exercise bike - not the standard kind but a recumbent or semi-elliptical or a Theracycle.
You will read that done properly, forced exercise can actually reduce symptoms and create a reduction in the medication mgs. This is something to discuss with her doctor - where to find a good exercise therapy center which she can afford.

Other exercise include vocal exercises to maintain the ability to speak clearly, swallow and to breathe. There is a link to a DVD here:

Yoga exercises can be done in many ways. Here are some to help with breathing, relaxation and stretching. They can be done on the floor or in a chair:

If you can provide a list of her meds, we can probably provide more suggestions.

Another possibility is to determine whether there are any medical schools in the area with a motion disorder department. Your mother might be able to get treatment there.

Check the resource links at the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. There might be assistance for your mother here:

Here are some additional links - I cannot assure you that your mother will qualify but it is worth taking a few minutes to discover:
This last one lists the contact organizations by state:

Best wishes - this is not a good situation for you or your mother.

I can be reached through Yahoo Answers or the site below.  (+ info)

Can Risperdal cause Parkinson's Disease after 2 months of taking it?

I was on Risperdal for 2 months, and I have been reading that it can cause Parkinson's Disease. Is it true? I have had mood swings, anxiety, and social phobia; are these signs of the mental part of Parkinson's? Please let me know. I have a teacher who has this, please let me know what you think (I am going to ask the teacher Monday)!
Thanks, For ANY help!

Risperdal is one of the newer antipsychotics on the market. It is not one of the anti-psychotics/antidepressants which would be used for a Parkinson's patient because it acts on dopamine receptors and it inhibits serotonin both already in short supply in PD.

"Pharmacodynamic properties:
RISPERDAL (risperidone) is an antipsychotic of the benzisoxazol derivatives. It is a selective monoaminergic antagonist. RISPERDAL has affinity for serotonin-5-HT2, dopamine-D2, H1-histamine, alpha1- and alpha2-adrenergic receptors. Risperidone has no affinity for cholinergic receptors. It is a potent D2-antagonist"

Risperidone has been known to cause reversible parkinsonian symptoms due to its chemical actions in the brain. Common side effects include orthostatic hypotension (dizziness due to a drop in standing blood pressure), insomnia, anxiety, headaches, agitation. It can also cause parkinsonian symptoms such as tremors, weakness, poor muscle tone, difficulty with voluntary movements (freezing). Cessation of the medication will cause the parkinsonian symptoms to disappear.

This is a powerful medication. While talking to a teacher might provide more information, I would suggest that you speak with the prescribing physician about changing prescriptions if you are uncomfortable with the present side effects. If they were also symptoms you were experiencing prior to taking Risperdal, you might want to talk about lack of symptom relief from this drug.

The primary issues in PD which relate to the side effects are the motor issues, orthostatic hypotension, cognitive decline. Depression is also a very common PD symptom but finding an appropriate medication can be difficult to impossible because of the action of all classes of antidepressants. Often counseling is advised to restore feelings of self worth. Relaxation exercises such as Yoga are also helpful, breathing exercises (Pranayama) especially as they help both motor and non-motor symptoms. The problem is getting over the apathy which also can occur.

The answer is that it is possible to develop the motor symptoms similar to PD, it is not actually Parkinson's, they are parkinsonian in nature but they would go away once you stopped taking the medication. The symptoms you describe thus far do not sound like parkinsonian symptoms.

That said, there is the possibility of developing Tardive Dyskinesia which is a PD side effect after continued use of levodopa-carbidopa (Sinemet)

I think you need to read (or reread) the Risperdal information at the Janssen website:

I would suggest that you print the information from some of these sites so that you can take it with you when you have the discussion with your teacher.  (+ info)

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