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13 Things to Know About Parkinson’s Disease

elderly day care

A Few Facts About the Disorder

Parkinson’s disease ( also known as PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that starts off as a variety of mild symptoms and progresses slowly over the years. At New Generations, we understand Parkinson’s can be hard on both those affected and their loved ones, which is why we offer elderly day care programs that can help.

Here are 13 things to know about Parkinson’s disease:

  1. Parkinson’s affects more than one million people in the U.S. and every year, 50,000-60,000 new cases are diagnosed.
  2. British surgeon James Parkinson  was the first to observe and describe the symptoms of the disease, but French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot was the one who actually coined the phrase “Parkinson’s disease.”
  3. People with Parkinson’s experience tremors because the disease affects the part of the brain that produces dopamine (dopamine helps the brain control movement).
  4. There is no standard diagnostic test for Parkinson’s, which makes it hard to diagnose. In addition, not much is known about what actually causes the disease.
  5. Some early symptoms of Parkinson’s include: loss of smell, vivid dreams, limb stiffness, mild tremors, bladder issues, and changes in handwriting.
  6. The disease itself isn’t fatal, but it can lead to complications (like trouble swallowing or dementia) that can be fatal.
  7. Exposure to the pesticide paraquat triples a person’s risk of getting Parkinson’s.
  8. The average age for diagnosis is 62, however, there are many younger people that are diagnosed. If an individual is under 50 and diagnosed, it’s considered early-onset Parkinson’s.
  9. Around 15% of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s may experience “atypical” Parkinson’s or “Parkinson’s-plus,” which means the course of their disease isn’t typical.
  10. There’s no cure for the disease, but it’s one of the most treatable neurological disorders. Treatments include exercise as well as medications that mimic dopamine in the brain.
  11. Parkinson’s affects everyone differently – not everyone will experience the same symptoms and the way the symptoms progress can vary from person to person.
  12. Around 30%-40% of people with Parkinson’s also experience depression. Many become worried that they’ll lose their independence.
  13. There are several conditions that can mimic those of Parkinson’s, including essential tremor (ET) and normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH).

If you’re interested in learning more about our elderly day care programs, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our amazing caregivers are here to help make life a little easier.