Parkinson’s disease (PD) is diagnosed as a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra critically involved in the motor deficits observed in Parkinson’s disease.
Generally, symptoms develop slowly over the years. The progression of symptoms varies from one person to another due to the variance of the disease.
Here are 5 Myths About Parkinson’s Disease
1. Everyone with Parkinson’s Disease has Tremors
Tremors are the most notable symptom of PD, but it is not the only symptom people experience when living with the disease. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, many symptoms of PD are invisible or non-movement symptoms. These can include cognitive changes (attention, memory) and depression, sleep disorders (insomnia, REM sleep behaviour disorder, constipation, incontinence, light-headedness, loss of smell, feeling full with little food, and vision changes.
2. Parkinson’s Disease only occurs in the Elderly
While Parkinson’s is diagnosed at an average age of 60, the disease can also affect younger people. According to Parkinson’s Foundation YOPD-Young, the Onset of Parkinson’s disease affects about 4% of the million people with PD. In rare cases, PD-like symptoms, called Juvenile Parkinsonism, can appear in children and teenagers.
3. There’s Nothing You Can Do to Control It, Aside from Medication
Medication can be very effective in managing the symptoms of PD; however, there are other ways to manage Parkinson’s. Making lifestyle changes can improve the quality of life. Regular exercise and a diet of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, such as green and orange vegetables, nuts, raspberries and blueberries. Research shows that there are benefits to “regular exercise routines of walking, strength training, or Tai Chi,” as well as noncontact boxing to improve mobility, balance, and coordination.
4. A Neurologist can only manage Parkinson’s Disease
Multiple studies have shown that most people living with PD don’t need it to be managed regularly by a neurologist. A study published by researchers at Mayo Clinic found that primary care physicians can feel comfortable managing PD, especially if the patient brings their complete strategy plan, what is and is not working with their lifestyle choices. Many areas do not have a specialist, so it is important to provide the physician will all details of the condition and what is and is not working. As mentioned, each person is unique, and treatment will be provided accordingly.
5. If a person with Parkinson’s looks Good, they Feel Good
We can never truly know the level of pain someone with Parkinson’s is living with. Some days may be easier than others, even when they appear to feel good. The Parkinson’s Foundation indicates that medications taken on time are most effective for people with PD because the medication can wear off between doses.
Not all symptoms are visible and can fluctuate and may not reflect how a person feels most of the time. Even if their medication can control tremors, those with nonmotor symptoms of PD still may not feel well even though they appear well.
How In-Home Care Can Help
Living with chronic illness is never easy for the person and the people in their support system. Living a fulfilling, happy life is possible with proper medical interventions, lifestyle changes, and additional In-Home Care.
A Promyse Home Care professional in-home caregiver can help with personal care, light housekeeping, medication management, going together to appointments and outings, stimulation activities, and more.
The healthcare team at Promyse has experience caring for seniors through all stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Our compassionate, individualized approach puts seniors’ immediate needs at the heart of everything we do.