PARKINSON’S DISEASE UPDATE – PART 4
Parkinson’s verse Lewy body dementia and nutriTION HEALTH
Home Care for Parkinson’s or Lewy body is important. Lewy body dementia (LBD) can be mistaken for Parkinson’s disease (PD) because both conditions share many symptoms, such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). LBD is a type of dementia that can occur with or without Parkinson’s symptoms. In fact, some people with LBD may first be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and only later do they develop additional symptoms that suggest LBD.
One of the key differences between LBD and PD is the presence of hallucinations and fluctuations in cognitive function in LBD, which are not typically seen in PD. In LBD, hallucinations can occur early in the disease, and may involve seeing people, animals, or objects that are not there. Fluctuations in cognitive function can also occur, causing a person to have good and bad days or to experience periods of confusion, disorientation, and memory loss.
It’s important for healthcare professionals to be aware of the similarities and differences between LBD and PD to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. A comprehensive evaluation that includes medical history, neurological examination, and neuropsychological testing can help distinguish between the two conditions.
Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia are both neurodegenerative disorders that affect the nervous system. They share some common features and symptoms, but they are distinct conditions with different diagnostic criteria and treatments.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects the nervous system. It is characterized by the gradual loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain. This leads to symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural instability. Parkinson’s disease can also cause non-motor symptoms such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and cognitive impairment.
Lewy body dementia is a type of dementia that is caused by the buildup of abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies in the brain. The symptoms of Lewy body dementia can overlap with those of Parkinson’s disease, including tremors, rigidity, and postural instability. However, Lewy body dementia also causes cognitive symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, hallucinations, and delusions. People with Lewy body dementia may also experience fluctuations in their symptoms, meaning that they can experience rapid changes in their cognitive and motor abilities throughout the day.
While Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia share some common features, they are different conditions with different underlying causes and treatments. Parkinson’s disease is typically treated with medications that increase dopamine levels in the brain, such as levodopa. Lewy body dementia may be treated with medications that improve cognitive symptoms, such as cholinesterase inhibitors. However, there is no cure for either condition, and the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and maintain quality of life.
NUTRITION AND PARKINSON’S
Nutrition can play an important role in managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms and overall health. Here is some general nutritional advice for Parkinson’s:
- Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help maintain overall health and well-being. People with Parkinson’s disease may also benefit from a higher protein intake to help manage the motor symptoms associated with the condition. Try and stick to a mediterranean diet.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can worsen symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, so it’s important to drink enough fluids throughout the day. Water, herbal tea, and coconut water are good choices.
- Limit processed foods: Processed foods, including those high in sugar, salt, and fat, can contribute to inflammation and worsen symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Try to choose whole foods instead, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
- Consider supplements: People with Parkinson’s disease may be at increased risk for certain nutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin D and vitamin B12. A healthcare professional can help determine if supplements are necessary.
- Be aware of medication interactions: Some Parkinson’s disease medications can interact with certain nutrients or supplements. A healthcare professional can advise on any potential interactions and make appropriate adjustments.
- Address swallowing difficulties: Parkinson’s disease can cause swallowing difficulties, which can make it harder to get proper nutrition. Soft, moist foods and thickened liquids may be easier to swallow for some individuals.
- Seek guidance from a healthcare professional: A healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, can provide personalized nutritional advice and guidance on managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes.
It’s important to note that nutrition alone cannot cure Parkinson’s disease, but it can help manage symptoms and improve overall health and well-being. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant dietary changes or starting new supplements.
If you or a loved one is in Myrtle Beach, Grand Dunes, Pawleys Island, Litchfield, or within the Horry County area and you have any questions or concerns about their health, please give Amethyst Home Care a call at (843) 984-0739, toll-free (800) 476-7059 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to meet with one of our RNs for a more comprehensive personalized home assessment.