Parkinson’s and Life Expectancy

While it’s still unclear exactly what causes Parkinson’s disease, medical experts believe the disease results from a combination of genetics and environmental factors. What is known, is that the average age at onset is 60 and it is projected that over five million people globally are living with Parkinson’s. Life expectancy for a person with Parkinson’s disease depends on several aspects. The first factor is gender. The Parkinson’s disease Foundation remarks that older women with Parkinson’s live longer than men with the disease. Another factor- the level of care a person has access to can have a direct impact on life expectancy. Modern health care and therapies can help with symptoms and quality of life, as well as thwart the disease from further progression. Detecting the disease early on can help reduce the risk of other health complications that may follow. Studies have shown that Parkinson’s has no actual impact on life expectancy and those who participated in study groups live to the same age as those not suffering from the disease. It has been proven that most people can live up to twenty years after their diagnosis. Parkinson’s is not a fatal disease, this means that those afflicted with it do not die from the disease itself. Death is apt to occur from ailments caused by the disease. Falls become serious concerns for Parkinson’s patients, particularly in the later stages. These falls can be fore-runners for broken bones or even fatal results. There are other possible fatal complications in which the outcome is death. These include unintentionally breathing in foreign objects such as food, the body forming blood...

The Parkinson’s Unity Walk

On April 23, 2016 people will gather together for the 22nd Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York City, one goal in mind-to support the cause and raise awareness. The Parkinson’s Unity Walk is the largest proletarian fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease research in the nation. 100% of donations back the research funded by seven major Parkinson’s foundations. It is the goal of this event to raise awareness and funds for research, and educate the community with representatives from sponsors and foundations sharing information and resources with members of the Parkinson’s community. History: The Unity Walk has flourished from 200 participants in 1994 raising $16,000 to over 11,000 participants in 2015 raising over $1.7M for scientific research. For the past few years Unity Walk was held the 4th Saturday in April. Unfortunately this year it fell on the first night of Passover. Although efforts were made to try and change the date circumstances prevented this from happening. Much respect was given to those wishing to observe Passover, hence the date being change for this reason. It is believed that this will not be an issue again for many years. Did you know? Parkinson’s is a chronic, degenerative, neurological disorder affecting over 1 million people in the US. 60,000 new cases are diagnosed every year- that’s one person every nine minutes. Disease management is imperative and at the Unity Walk, participants have the chance to visit the booths of Parkinson’s organizations, healthcare experts, and movement disorders centers. Participants can watch exercise demos and visit the booths of sponsors to educate themselves about current medical...

Coping with Parkinson’s disease Part IV

Love Life…continued People with Parkinson’s disease may feel embarrassed by their tremors and drooling. Your Other Half It is imperative to include your spouse when coping with this disease. Make sure that they too comprehend it, and are aware of your feelings and what you’re going through. Share your qualms and concerns, and give them a chance to help you when needed. Things to discuss: What was your role before the disease? What are your limitations now? What role does your spouse need to take on now? What role can your spouse realistically deal with or is willing to deal with? Your Children Contemplating that our children’s opinions of us will change for the negative may be painful. We fear that our children will no longer view us as their strong protector or a positive role model. This is one of the most common fears that Parkinson’s disease patients face. This will take time, honesty, and communication so your children won’t see you as a weak parent. Hopefully they will see a person who is determined and doing their best to cope with a difficult situation. This will encourage them to deal with trials in their life. Living with Parkinson’s disease is no easy undertaking, but making a few lifestyle changes can make an enormous difference. These changes will give you the freedom to live your life to the fullest, while still being involved in both your career and social...

Coping with Parkinson’s disease Part III

Regular Doctors’ Visits Are Important Use this time to ask as many questions as needed. If your doctor doesn’t have time to answer your questions, then you should find one who will! You have been diagnosed with a serious disease and it’s important to understand your condition and any medications you will be taking. Understanding what you need to do will help you manage your daily life more effectively. Attend Support Groups Most likely there are Parkinson’s disease support groups in your town. You will need support now more than ever before, and surrounding yourself with people who suffer from the same disease will help tremendously. If for no other reason, you will be surrounded by people who know just how you feel. It also gives you the chance to be educated on the disease and perhaps help others who are struggling. Your Love Life Just because you’re living with Parkinson’s disease, doesn’t mean your love life needs to be placed on the back burner. Couples can still convey their love through touch, caressing, and lovemaking. Although there may be some difficulties such as: Both partners feeling tired. Roles have changed now and one person may have taken on the role as full-time caregiver, adding that to the patients symptoms, may make performance a challenge. The autonomic nervous system can be affected by Parkinsonism, and it is this system that regulates a man’s erection. Medications can help with this problem should it...

Famous People with Parkinson’s disease Part III

Linda Ronstadt Known for her rich soprano vocals that merged country music with rock ‘n’ roll as the lead singer of 1960s band the Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt revealed her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis to AARP- the Magazine. After receiving two very bad tick bites in the 1980s, Ronstadt claims her health never fully recovered. Ronstadt didn’t visit a neurologist until she was unable to sing. “I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing — all I knew was that it was muscular, or mechanical. Then, when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason. I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try. And in my case, I can’t sing a note,” she told AARP. Ronstadt was initially stunned by her diagnosis, but today believes that she’d been living with Parkinson’s symptoms for years without knowing it. Today, she’s educating herself as much as possible about her neurological condition. Brian Grant Brian Grant played for 12 seasons as a National Basketball Association (NBA) professional, playing for the Sacramento Kings, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns. As an NBA player, he was recognized for his positive team commitment as well as his work with underprivileged children. He was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 2008 at age 36, after retiring. He founded the Brian Grant Foundation, which is committed to raising awareness and inspiring those coping with Parkinson’s disease- focusing on exercise as...