For some reason, Parkinson’s Disease is one of the more common diseases that affect senior citizens. Statistics reveal that 1.8% of people over the age of 65 have Parkinson’s. An unfortunate side-effect is that those that have it also have a six-fold increased risk of developing Dementia.
As I stipulated earlier in the week, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, or PDD, is another type of Dementia where your clients may suffer from hallucinations – especially early on in the disease course. Other risk factors besides aging, is comorbid depression and the misuse of nicotine.
According to the website, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957617/, the main symptoms in PDD include: impaired executive functioning, impairments to visual-spatial functioning, cognitive deficits, and lack of drive that are mostly due to impaired memory function. In terms of memory, patients with Parkinson’s disease dementia are primarily affected by impaired strategic encoding and recall. Executive functions are the processes that are necessary to control behaviors and plan action. In addition to the dopaminergic system, further neurotransmitters of the central nervous system are essential for these deficits to develop, especially acetylcholine, noradrenalin, and serotonin.
If your client has PDD, their cognitive deficits and/or Dementia may only progress if they have had the full motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease present for at least one year. If the Parkinson’s has been determined to be a full-blown case, then usually there is no difference between the two disease entities – neither clinically nor neuropathologically.
In order to show your client that you realize that With Age Comes Respect, you will want to know all there is to know about the various types of Dementia, how is coordinates or tags onto other such diseases and how best to work with your client that has been diagnosed with one of the various varieties of Dementia.