Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease currently affects about one million people in the United States. It is a chronic, progressive disorder that affects movement. Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of neurons in the brain. Over time, Parkinson’s causes changes in the brain that affect mental function. This decline in cognition is called Parkinson’s disease dementia.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dementia?

About 50 to 80 percent of people who have Parkinson’s disease develop dementia. To be considered Parkinson’s dementia, cognitive decline would be observed a year or more after the initial diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dementia include:

  • Memory changes
  • Difficulty with concentration and judgement
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Difficulty processing visual information
  • Anxiety
  • Increased irritability
  • Muffled speech
  • Paranoid ideas and/or delusions
  • Sleep disturbances, including excessive daytime drowsiness

Is there a test for Parkinson’s disease dementia?

There is currently not one single test for Parkinson’s disease dementia. When a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, their doctor will closely monitor their health including any symptoms that may indicate a change in cognitive health. If deemed necessary, the doctor may order an MRI to determine the exact nature of any brain changes that are affecting thinking.

How is Parkinson’s disease dementia treated?

Treatment for Parkinson’s disease dementia currently focuses on management of symptoms. Your doctor will determine which medications may be most beneficial to you. At this time, some options include:

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors are often used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and can also be of help to people with Parkinson’s dementia.
  • L-dopa is sometimes used to inhibit the movement symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. However, it can aggravate hallucinations and other symptoms in some dementia patients. Therefore, close monitoring by a doctor while using this medication is vitally important.
  • Antidepressants are commonly used to treat depression in people who have Parkinson’s disease dementia.
  • Clonazepam can be used to treat REM sleep disorder.
  • Antipsychotic drugs are sometimes used to address behavioral issues. They must be used with extreme caution due to the risk of serious side effects.

People who have Parkinson’s disease dementia can also benefit from high quality memory care. At Parc Provence, our proven programs combine engaging therapies with an environment designed to bring out the best in our memory care residents. Calming therapies and a secure, home-like atmosphere create a comfortable setting where residents and their families can find peace of mind. Our robust activity schedule encourages mental engagement so members of the Parc Provence community live fulfilling lives. Our goal is to bring out the best in every resident at every stage.

Learn More About Parc Provence

Parc Provence is the established leader in memory care. Our proven programs and trusted care have given families peace of mind for over 13 years. Let us show you why families choose the expert care at Parc Provence for Parkinson’s disease dementia and more. Contact us today for more information. Because every moment matters.