Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Dementia – Important Facts to be Aware of

When a person has Parkinson’s disease their nervous system becomes affected. A person will start to be slow in their movements. They will also be off balance when they are walking or when they are trying to get out of a sitting position. Their muscles will become more rigid, which will make it harder for to do their everyday chores. Having the shakes can also be a sign that a person may have Parkinson’s disease. About twenty percent of Parkinson’s patients end up with Parkinson’s Dementia along with these other symptoms of the disease.

Dopamine levels in a normal and a Parkinson's Affected neuron

Dementia in Parkinson Disease

Parkinson’s dementia has its own set of signs that are quite different from people who suffer form Parkinson disease without the dementia. If a person develops extremely severe problems with their motor control and they start to see things that are not there, they may be having the first signs of dementia. A person may go a very long time before they see the onset of this terrible feature of Parkinson. This disease should not be confused with Dementia with Lewy Bodies because with this disease a person starting to see things that are not there starts before their loss of motor control. It is vice versa from Parkinson’s dementia.

Caregiver holding elderly patients hand at home

Other Causes of Dementia

If a person is showing signs of getting upset too easy, believing the wrong thing is true, and having trouble talking to others, Parkinson disease may not be causing the dementia. They may have something else wrong with them beside Parkinson’s disease. It is hard to determine with a person who has Parkinson’s disease whether it is the disease that is causing Parkinson’s dementia or if it could be something else that is causing the dementia within the person with Parkinson such as old age, Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid trouble, or the lack of vitamin B-12 in the body.

Memory Loss and Confusion

Persons with Parkinson’s dementia will show signs of memory problems. They may not remember what day it or if they have a doctor’s appointment. Finding where they have put something may be an overwhelming chore for someone with this type of dementia. A person who has dementia because of their Parkinson’s disease may also develop signs of confusion. They may believe that they live on a different street and go to the wrong address when traveling home from wherever they have been.

Moodiness and Withdrawal

Individuals who have been determined to have dementia that is brought on by Parkinson’s disease, will often times feel very moody and withdrawn. They may not want to get out of the house and do anything or they be extra cranky and want to be left alone. People with Parkinson’s dementia sometimes have a lack of motivation to get anything done. These people have no desire to do things such as clean their house, go to the grocery store to get groceries, or to even take a bath. Dementia patients cannot grasp what is going on with them so they do not make any changes.

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