While there are varying treatments for those with Parkinson’s Disease, there are a of options for those with PD to get a great quality of life. Lifestyle modifications and rest and exercise are often required to manage the disease more effectively but there are plenty of support groups and therapists available to help you. Click here to see a list of resources in your area.
It is believed that genetics can cause up to 15% of all Parkinson’s cases, but the other 85% are occasional/sporadic. Sadly, scientists are unable to find a cure although there is lots of work still ongoing to try to find one. Treatment options vary for Parkinson’s, but can include medication and surgery.
Everyone will have different symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The main symptoms tend to be tremor, slow movements, rigid libs and balance problems.
Although mobility symptoms tend to be the classical thing we associate with Parkinson’s, many people with PD consider the non-movement symptoms more challenging and disabling. These can include but are not limited to:
- Cognitive changes including language difficulties and attention, memory and planning challenges
- Mood disorders including depression and anxiety. Irritability and apathy are common too
- Sexual problems including erectile dysfunction
- Sleep disorders including insomnia
With a reduced facial expression, people with Parkinson’s may look angry or sad, depressed or angry, but that is one of the symptoms of muscle changes to the face causing it to look stiff or taking a longer time to move. However, it is important to know the difference between facial masking (reduced facial movements) and signs of a mood disorder as both are common with PD.
While many people assume that tremors are the classical and first symptom of Parkinson’s Disease, it is widely acknowledged that a change in handwriting and the loss of smell of foods such as pickles, bananas and liquorice are all signs of PD.
Exercise is a key factor in helping those with Parkinson’s. While it is obviously a great way to stay healthy, it is vital in maintaining balance, mobility and simple daily tasks. The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project shows that those with PD who exercise at least 2.5 hours per week. Slowed decline in quality of life compared to those who started later. When we say exercise, we don’t mean running a marathon, simply movement such as tai chi and yoga are fantastic, pilates or even dance can also have positive effects on PD symptoms.
The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends people diagnosed with PD seek out specialist practitioners such as movement disorder specialists. They are likely to include a slew of other healthcare professionals who can advise on effective solutions and would include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and nutritionists.
Headed by The Parkinson’s Foundation, there are 47 international leading medical centres, 2 of which are in the UK. These centres deliver care to more than 193,000 people suffering with Parkinson’s and they play a key role in the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s. The centres lead the development of new treatments and are a vital lifeline to those suffering with PD. Read more about them here.
The Parkinson’s community is strong and there’s plenty of resources available to learn more about Parkinson’s Disease. You can join in on conversations regarding PD here and connect with people in a similar situation to you.
THE AURA WAY
At Aura Care Living, we have a highly trained team who can assist with those needing additional help following a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Our Care Home Managers Sarah Parkin and Sachin Rajkumarsingh have decades of experience at some of the finest Care Homes in the country and lead our highly qualified team of carers, nurses and therapists who can all assist with you or a loved one suffering from PD. If you are unsure as to what care may be appropriate, chat to us now or give us a call on 01285 842 042 for Cirencester or 01276 581 051 for Camberley.