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What to know about Parkinson’s dementia



What to know about Parkinson's dementia

What to know about Parkinson’s dementia

Parkinson’s Disease Dementia refers to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that affect thought processes, cognitive function and memory.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects a person’s movement and ability to perform daily activities.

The Parkinson’s Foundation estimates that by 2020, more than 1 million people in the United States will be living with Parkinson’s disease, and about 60,000 people will be diagnosed each year. The foundation also notes that at least 10 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s disease.

This disease destroys neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain, which are responsible for producing dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that has many functions, including helping to coordinate muscle movement.

Without this neurotransmitter, a person has difficulty initiating movement and moving in a coordinated manner.

PD can affect physical function, but it can also affect thought processes, cognitive function and memory. This can lead to a condition known as Parkinson’s disease dementia.


In this article we look at the symptoms, causes and treatment of dementia.


Symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease dementia:

  • Anxiety and irritability.
  • confused
  • What to worry about
  • Difficulty sleeping well
  • The speech is not clear and the affairs of the state are clear.
  • Has difficulty absorbing and interpreting visual information.
  • Excessive sleep and rapid eye movement (REM)
  • memory changes
  • Paranoia
  • visual hallucinations

Compare with other types of dementia

There are many types of dementia, including:

Alzheimer’s disease: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting 60-80% of people with dementia. Symptoms include depression, poor communication, confusion, difficulty walking, and difficulty swallowing.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) represents a group of diseases that may include “mad cow disease”. A person with CJD may experience sudden changes in memory, behavior and movement.

Dementia with Lewy bodies: This disease causes deposits of alpha-synuclein in a person’s brain. People with Lewy bodies may experience sleep disturbances and visual hallucinations. They may have an awkward gait.


Frontotemporal dementia: Frontotemporal dementia usually affects people at a young age and does not cause any changes in the brain. However, it changes personality, behavior, and movements.

Huntington’s disease: This genetic disease results from a defect in chromosome 4 and causes mood swings, abnormal movements, and depression.

Mixed dementia: Mixed dementia occurs when a person has dementia from more than one cause, such as vascular dementia or Lewy body dementia with Alzheimer’s disease.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus: This condition can result from a build-up of pressurized fluid in the brain. It affects memory, movement and a person’s ability to control urine.

Vascular dementia: Also known as post-stroke dementia, this condition occurs after a person has had a stroke, which is bleeding or blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. This type of dementia affects a person’s thinking and physical activities.


Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome: This condition is caused by chronic vitamin B1 deficiency or thiamine deficiency. It is more common among heavy drinkers.

The symptoms of dementia are different from those of other types.

For example, Alzheimer’s disease affects memory and language. On the other hand, MP dementia affects problem solving, the speed at which thoughts are generated, memory and mood among other important cognitive functions.

Dementia with Lewy bodies and dementia with Parkinson’s disease are similar in that Lewy bodies occur in both forms.

However, it is unclear whether the disease causes Lewy bodies or whether Lewy bodies are responsible for the symptoms. Researchers also believe that the Lewy body structure in Parkinson’s dementia is different from Lewy body dementia.


Causes and risk factors

Idiopathic cerebral palsy, which means the person has no known cause. But according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the onset of Parkinson’s disease is linked to genetic inheritance from parents.

Researchers have identified several risk factors for Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

These risks include:

  • Age at diagnosis
  • Sleeping during the day is great
  • Hallucinations preceding other psychotic symptoms
  • A prominent symptom of Parkinson’s disease is difficulty taking a step or stopping halfway when walking.
  • History of serious mental illness
  • The symptoms of movement disorders are more severe than in Parkinson’s disease

What the researchers didn’t know was that some people with Parkinson’s disease had problems with cognition and movement.


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 to 80 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease will develop dementia.

The median time from diagnosis to diagnosis of dementia is 10 years.


Dementia in cerebral palsy can reduce a person’s ability to live independently. Induced activity can affect communication, speech, memory and cognition.


Cerebral palsy is usually diagnosed before psychiatric symptoms appear. Behavioral problems may begin before cognitive impairment begins.

If a person has these symptoms, a doctor should check for movement disorders and mental changes.

People with cerebral palsy should tell their doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • depression
  • They have difficulty thinking clearly
  • manifestation of imagination
  • Poor memory
  • sleep disorders

Some of these symptoms may be side effects of PD medications, but anyone experiencing these symptoms should tell their doctor to avoid psychological withdrawal.

Diagnosing schizophrenia can be difficult because there is no test that can determine the presence or type of schizophrenia.


The first step your doctor should take is to assess your general health. Changes in general health, mobility and behavior can also be seen over time. Sometimes family members or caregivers need to provide this information because people with cerebral palsy do not remember or understand all of the changes.

If a person with Parkinson’s disease develops symptoms of dementia a year or more after diagnosis, a doctor may diagnose the condition as dementia with heart failure.

At this point, your doctor will also recommend imaging tests such as an MRI. This can help identify changes in the brain that may be causing these symptoms.

It could be, for example, a brain tumor or reduced blood flow to the brain. Screening does not necessarily confirm a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease dementia, but it does rule out other causes.

Treatment and prevention

There is no cure for PD dementia. Instead, treatment focuses on reducing psychiatric symptoms and maintaining quality of life.


Doctors may prescribe certain medications, such as:

Antidepressants: Doctors often prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, Calixa, Lexapro, or Zoloft, to reduce symptoms of depression.

Cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs help reduce the effects of cognitive decline in people with dementia.

Clonazepam. This medicine improves the quality of sleep.

L-Dopa: This drug may reduce movement problems caused by Parkinson’s disease, but may worsen symptoms of confusion and dementia.


Doctors can also prescribe antipsychotics, but they must do so carefully because they can lower mood but have side effects that make Parkinson’s symptoms worse.

These drugs can cause confusion and loss of consciousness.

In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antipsychotic drug pimavansar, or Neoplazide. Studies have shown that this drug can effectively treat eye problems without causing the side effects of other antipsychotics.

Doctors can combine these drugs for the safest and most effective results. Discuss the benefits and side effects of the treatment.

People with Parkinson’s disease may also benefit from physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to improve movement and communication.


Currently, doctors do not know how to prevent Parkinson’s disease. Although some people may have a genetic variant, researchers have not yet identified a specific gene.


People with Parkinson’s disease have a different life expectancy than people with dementia.

A 2017 study published in JAMA Neurology found that PD only modestly increases mortality compared to the general population without dementia.

However, the death rate for people with Parkinson’s disease is increasing dramatically.

Although dementia affects survival rates, there are many medications, treatments, and support systems available for people with Parkinson’s disease.

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