Parkinson's Disease

  • Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people due to a lack of dopamine that the brain is able to produce which helps the body move and affects mood.
  • Parkinson's Disease has both motor and non-motor effects on the body

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Tremors or shaking
  • Small handwriting
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble moving or walking
  • Constipation
  • Soft or low voice
  • Masked face
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Stooping or hunching over

Other conditions that can mimic PD:

  • Essential tremor (ET) – common among the elderly and may be a risk factor for PD
    • Different from PD because it affects both hands and often involves a head tremor and a "shaky" voice
  • Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) – a person with NPH has fluid inside the brain that does not drain properly, which results in difficulty walking, slowed thinking, and loss of bladder control.

Medications:

  • Many Parkinson's drugs are aimed at temporarily replenishing or mimicking the action of dopamine and are called dopaminergic. They help reduce muscle rigidity, improve speed and coordination and lesson tremors.
    • PD medications may have interactions with certain foods, other medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, over the counter cold pills, and other remedies.

Source: Alzheimer's Association