7 Home Safety Tips for People with Parkinson’s Disease

After a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, adjustments and renovations both small and large can help make your home more comfortable — and safer — for yourself or a loved one with Parkinson’s disease, especially if gait, balance and fatigue symptoms are an issue.

Our community shared changes they made around the home that helped them — add your own in the comments. You can also find our guide to assistance products for Parkinson’s disease such as utensils with a padded, ribbed handle and non-slip shoes, which can also help make life at home with Parkinson’s disease more comfortable.

Not all of these recommedations may be the right fit for you or your loved one. Connect with an occupational therapist for personalized advice on making changes around your home. An OT can also help you plan for how to make further adjustments as the disease progresses.

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PARKINSON’S: MEDICATION ADHERENCE

University of Delaware researcher Ju Young Shin is investigating symptom management in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Her research eye is particularly focused on medication adherence; as an adult nurse practitioner, the topic is especially critical. The movement disorder occurs due to a lack of dopamine levels in the brain. Medication helps to manage symptoms.

“Without proper medication adherence, the four cardinal symptoms of PD — slowness of movement, tremors, rigidity and postural instability — worsen,” explained the School of Nursing assistant professor. “When the medicine level goes down, they may freeze. For example, they cannot walk even if they are in the middle of a crosswalk. They know, but they can’t move.”

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Drug Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

There have been rapid and remarkable changes over the recent past in treating Parkinson’s disease. The development of new drugs and an understanding of how best to use them and the older drugs have significantly improved the quality of life of people with the disease.

There are two general approaches to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with medication. The first approach attempts to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain and the second approach attempts to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by other means.

Most patients with Parkinson’s disease can initially be treated with drugs that adequately alleviate their symptoms. If or when medications are not sufficiently effective, new, highly effective and safe surgical treatments are also available.

Choices about medications made early in the course of the disease have a strong impact on the long-term course of the illness. Therefore, you should seek the advice of a neurologist, even if the illness is only suspected. There are also movement disorders specialists who have completed their training in neurology (brain and nerve problems) and have received special advanced training in treating Parkinson’s disease and other related diseases.

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Warn families of risk of sex and gambling addictions with Parkinson’s drugs, doctors told

The families of Parkinson’s sufferers must be warned about dangers of sex and gambling addictions caused by drugs used to treat the disease, doctors have been told.

New NHS guidelines, due to be released next month, include impulse control disorders for the first time, stating that health professionals should discuss the potential for dramatic change in behaviour with the “family and carers” as well as the patient.

It comes amid growing evidence that the drugs can lead to secret gambling or shopping addictions, which have been shown to destroy people’s relationships and financial security, and in extreme cases have led to criminal convictions.

The Nice guidelines have emerged as one woman in her early 60s revealed how her life was torn apart when her partner suffered from hypersexuality – a focus on sexual feelings and thoughts –  after taking dopamine agonists.

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Coping Tips for Caregivers of Those With Parkinson’s Disease

As a caregiver of someone with Parkinson’s disease, you have a lot to do:

  • You help maintain the quality of life for your loved one.
  • You educate yourself about symptoms, treatments, and the progression of the disease.
  • You keep track of appointments with the doctor, medication schedules, and exercise.
  • You offer the love and support necessary to meet the challenges of Parkinson’s disease.

You are a caregiver. The role you have taken on is not an easy one. The following tips offer some guidance on how you can help your loved one.

  • Take time for yourself. Make sure you have time to relax. If necessary, enlist the help of other family members or even hire someone to assist you in providing care.
  • Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s disease. That way you’ll understand what changes to expect in your loved one’s behavior or symptoms and how you can best help when those changes occur.
  • Let your loved one participate. Don’t try to do everything for your loved one. Allow him or her the time to complete daily activities on his or her own, such as dressing.

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Finally: Parkinson disease: Spanish research team found two major keys of the neuroprotection and natural increase of dopamine

Ramón Cacabelos, a world known expert for neurodegenerative disorders and genomic medicine, and his team have completed preclinical and clinical studies with a nutraceutical called AtreMorine. The exceptional results shows that AtreMorine protects selectively dopaminergic neurons and significantly increases naturally the dopamine level in the organism and without any reverse effects.

Parkinson’s disease, with known symptoms as tremors, stiffness, slowness of movements, depression and other , is mainly due to the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. These dopaminergic neurons are quite rare in the brain and they die gradually.

An estimated loss of 5 to 10% of these neurons degenerate per decade in everybody’s brain and this process starts more or less at the age of 20. This degeneration occurs even more rapidly in persons affected by Parkinson’s disease and once the loss of these neurons reaches the critical 60-80% barrier, all known symptoms of this disease appear.

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Tips and tricks: how Parkinson’s patients can discover their own coping strategies

People with Parkinson’s are capable of developing their own creative ways to overcome daily difficulties. Over the years, health professionals have observed with admiration the effectiveness of these unique, self-created strategies that sometimes work where medication occasionally fails.

Health professionals are increasingly aware of the creative and effective power of people with Parkinson’s to help maintain their independence. In 2014 the European Physiotherapy Guideline for Parkinson’s Disease (Keus et al, 2014) made a recommendation to take into account the trick that patients developed to overcome specific problems, evaluate their safety and adequacy and to improve the strategy if required (1).

Free-wheeling

In a video presented by Anke H Snijders, MD and Bastiaan R Bloem, MD, (2010) a 58-year-old man with severe freezing of gait surprised health professionals when he was able to jump on his bicycle and cycle safely along the road with astounding agility – fending off his freezing in the process. When he jumped off the bicycle, his freezing of gait would resume.

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11 landmark moments in the history of Parkinson’s disease

From the first experiments with levodopa more than 50 years ago to the revolutionary development of deep brain stimulation, the history of Parkinson’s disease stretches back more than two centuries. This timeline charts some of the landmark moments, since initial discovery until today’s advances, that together make up the 200-year history of Parkinson’s disease.

1755: Birth of Dr James Parkinson

Dr James Parkinson, whose birthday on 11 April is commemorated annually as World Parkinson’s Day, was a well-respected surgeon, apothecary and political activist. Dr Parkinson wrote a great deal on social reform, geology and medicines and is considered to have been a visionary in each field. Parkinson’s greatest legacy, however, was his discovery and subsequent essay on ‘the shaking palsy’, a condition that would be named after the surgeon.

Parkinson’s essay is still viewed as a detailed, accurate and knowledgeable description of the illness, despite it being the first of its kind. In 1817, when Dr Parkinson first recognised the condition, there had been no previous research on the subject. Parkinson’s essay laid the groundwork for those who built on his research over the course of the next two centuries.

James Parkinson - blue plaque

Dr James Parkinson’s commemorative plaque in London, UK

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Could Parkinson’s disease be sexually transmitted?

THE sexually transmitted virus hepatitis could increase a person’s risk of Parkinson’s disease, experts have warned.

The viruses themselves, or treatment to combat them, could leave someone at greater risk of developing the debilitating neurological condition, they said.

Another explanation, according to the team from the University of Oxford, is that people who are susceptible to hepatitis could also be more susceptible to Parkinson’s.

The hepatitis virus affects the liver, and if left untreated can prove fatal.

In the UK around one in every 350 people live with chronic hepatitis B.

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A Stroke Can Cause Vascular Parkinsonism

Parkinson’s Disease is a fairly common neurological disease that causes a number of symptoms, most characteristically tremors and slow movements of the arms. Parkinson’s Disease is a slowly worsening condition caused by progressive degeneration of certain areas of the brain. It is not known why some people develop Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinsonism

There is also another similar disease called Parkinsonism, which is a condition in which people have some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but do not have Parkinson’s Disease itself.

Parkinsonism occurs when one or more of the regions of the brain that are responsible for Parkinson’s Disease become damaged.

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