Parkinson's and Dementia

Parkinson’s Disease is a fairly common disease specially amongst those 65 and above where it is seen in more than 2 percent of the population. It is now believed that nearly 50 to 80 percent of those suffering from Parkinson’s disease eventually suffer from dementia. If the dementia occurs more than two years after the onset of symptoms of Parkinson’s it is considered Parkinson’s and Dementia, otherwise it is designated as Lewy Body disease. 

Signs and Symptoms

 The main symptoms are difficulty with memory, judgment, information processing, difficulty interpreting visual information, low voice, hallucinations, sleep disturbances such as day time sleepiness and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep disorder. Other findings could be mood disorders, and paranoid ideas.  

Risk Factors

 The cause of this disease are not known. But being over 60 years of age, being male and family history of the disease puts you in slightly greater risk of developing the disease.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s and dementia is mainly a historic and clinical one. History of dementia occurring more than two years after the onset of the Parkinonian symptoms is the main diagnostic requirement for this disease.

Treatment

 Treatment for this disease include treatment for the Parkinsonian symptoms with drugs such as Sinimet, Pramipexole (Mirapex), Ropinirole (Requip), Selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar) and Rasagiline (Azilect). For the dementia component of the disease, medications such as Rivastigmine (Exelon) are used, which increase the amount of a neurotransmitter lacking in brains. 

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