What are the Secondary Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

What are the Secondary Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

The primary symptoms of the Parkinson’s disease have to be obviously movement related and lose of muscles control. Since it is a neurodegenerative disease, continued damage to brain leads to secondary symptoms which vary in severity and people-

  • Feelings of insecurity, anxiety and stress.
  • Loss of memory, confusion and dementia.
  • Constipation.
  • Feelings characterized by depression and low mood.
  • Excessive salivation and difficulty in swallowing.
  • Reduced sense of smell.
  • Erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Speech problems.

What are the Risk Factors Of Developing Dementia After Parkinson’s Disease?

Certain patients with Parkinson’s disease are at higher risk of developing dementia than others. Some of the vital risk factors for developing dementia after Parkinson’s disease may include older age, severity of symptoms and presence of mild cognitive impairment. Other additional symptoms which act as risk factor for developing into full fledged dementia include-

  • Excessive sleepiness in the daytime.
  • Presence of hallucination in the absence of other dementia related symptoms.
  • Presence of postural instability and gait which include freezing that occurs suddenly, difficulty in initiating movement and problems with balancing and frequent falling.

How is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed?

There are no particularly specific tests that confirm the presence of Parkinson’s disease. Once the patience comes with the symptoms, the doctor usually takes the physical history of the patient. His way of walking and level of cognition is assessed. The doctor then may ask the patient to go for certain tests like-

Blood Test- The blood test is usually done in order to rule out any other condition responsible for the symptoms of motor instability. Such conditions may include liver damage or abnormal thyroid level.

MRI and CT scans- The patient may be asked to go for a CT or MRI scans to diagnose the presence of brain tumor or stroke. The MRI or CT scan results with Parkinson’s disease are usually normal.

PET Scan- PET scan may help in the detection of low levels of dopamine in the brain at times. PET scans are highly specialized imaging technique, which uses substances which are radioactive in nature to create three dimensional images of the substances in the body.

How to Cope Up with Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is progressive and eventually affects every aspect of life from social engagements to work and normal life routines. The gradual loss of independence may be difficult for the patient to accept. There are various support groups that offer valuable information to patients with such disease and how to cope with the same. These groups provide emotional support and also advice the patients with regard to finding experienced doctors, therapists and other related information.

How to Eat Well In Parkinson’s Disease?

Healthy Diet: The main idea is to eat a balanced and healthy diet. Consumption of fruits, nuts, vegetables and lean meat in small proportion may be beneficial.

Maintain Healthy Weight: It should be taken care that the patient should not gain a lot of weight and become obese.

Fiber Rich Food: Fiber rich food like broccoli, peas, apples, cooked beans, whole-grain bread and cereals are seen to be a part of a good diet.

Meat and Dairy: Sugar and salt consumption must be cut down along with saturated fats from meat and dairy.

Why is Proper Follow-Up Required for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease?

A person with Parkinson’s disease is supposed to go for regular checkups to his health care professional for the following reasons-

Check-ups: The check-ups help the health care professionals to check if the treatment procedure is working or not and also provides an insight about the necessary adjustments to be made.

Regular Follow-ups: Regular follow-ups help in detection of new problems with cognition, behavior or mood which might need special treatment.

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