Facts about Parkinson’s Two Forms

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Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that impacts mobility, mental health, and cognitive abilities. If your senior loved one has any of the symptoms of this disease, you should check with his or her doctor. If your loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the physician can tell him or her which type of the disease he or she has developed. Continue reading to learn about the two types of Parkinson’s disease and what seniors can do to prevent each one.

Primary Parkinson’s

Primary Parkinson’s disease accounts for the vast majority of Parkinson’s cases involving older adults. The cause is typically unknown, which is why it’s also referred to as idiopathic Parkinson’s. Since many of its symptoms mimic other neurodegenerative disorders, the condition is often misdiagnosed. Your loved one could experience balance difficulties and automatically assume it’s related to arthritis, but he or she could have Parkinson’s.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need help with everyday activities, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable senior home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

Secondary Parkinsonism

Seniors with this disorder typically have more issues in the lower body. If your loved one has developed secondary Parkinsonism, another health condition is the likely cause. For example, seniors who have had strokes or brain injuries or are living with meningitis or dementia (Lewy body disease) are at higher risk of developing secondary Parkinsonism.

Symptoms

The symptoms of primary Parkinson’s and secondary Parkinsonism are similar. If your loved one has shown any signs of the symptoms mentioned below, you should take him or her to the doctor immediately. Early treatment could reduce many of the symptoms, boost quality of life, and allow your loved one to continue doing many daily tasks and hobbies independently for longer.

The most common symptoms associated with the two types of Parkinson’s are:

  • Trembling in the hands, arms, legs, and jaw
  • Slow movement
  • Rigid limbs and stiffness
  • Impaired balance
  • Poor posture

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Fort Myers seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Treatment

Primary Parkinson’s disease is typically treated with medications, such as levodopa, that increase the production of dopamine in the brain. Some drugs provide substitutes for these molecules and reduce many of the symptoms associated with the disease. Seniors with secondary Parkinsonism don’t respond well to levodopa and other dopaminergic medications. The medications could have side effects that cause various symptoms associated with Parkinson’s to worsen.

Some physicians may recommend surgical procedures to treat Parkinson’s, depending on the severity of the condition. These procedures include neural grafting, lesion surgery, and deep brain stimulation.

Prevention

Eating organic foods that are free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals can lower your loved one’s risk of developing primary Parkinson’s disease. In addition to raw vegetables and natural fruits, incorporate foods with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids—such as salmon, olive oil, and walnuts—into your loved one’s diet to preserve his or her dopamine levels. To lower the risk of secondary Parkinsonism, your loved one should work on boosting bone health, taking up brain-stimulating activities, and controlling cholesterol levels. 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. In Fort Myers, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at 239.449.4701.