Parkinson’s disease is a disease of the brain. Those who suffer from the disease can have a variety of complaints and Parkinson’s disease is therefore very complex. The picture of Parkinson’s symptoms is not the same for any patient.
What is Parkinson’s Disease
The disease Parkinson’s is a brain disorder in which a small group of cells in the brain (in the substantia nigra) damage and die. As a result, the cells can no longer produce dopamine. And we need that chemical to be able to move smoothly and to control our body movements.
The result is nasty symptoms such as:
- difficult to talk
- stiff arms
- stiff legs
The disease is slowly progressive and a cure is not yet possible. But the Parkinson Fund, with the support of donors, is doing everything it can to achieve this.
Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease?
No one is immune from Parkinson’s. The disease mainly affects people over 50 years of age. Millions of people have Parkinson’s and unfortunately, we see an alarming increase among people in their thirties and forties. A small percentage has hereditary Parkinson’s. The disease is not contagious.
How does Parkinson’s disease progress
Development of Parkinson’s disease
The disease is progressive: complaints often start gradually, usually on one side and usually increase over time, in completely random order. Early symptoms that indicated Parkinson’s afterwards are a tired and weak feeling, difficulty writing (a smaller and more unclear handwriting), a tremor in the arm, a foot that suddenly ‘locks’.
The development of the disease – speed and symptoms – varies from person to person. With the right treatment, which is constantly adjusted over the years, the complaints can often be reasonably controlled. This does not alter the fact that the disease has a major impact on daily life.
Parkinson’s disease can cause various complaints:
- Your movements: shaking, stiffness, shuffling, staggering, losing balance/falling, difficulty getting up from a chair or bed, difficulty writing, reduced facial expression (mask).
- Your mood: depressed, gloomy, anxious, listless, confused.
- Behavior: forgetful (Parkinson’s disease), hearing or seeing things that are not there (hallucinating), uninhibited eating, shopping, gambling, or sex.
- Bodily functions: choking, drooling, losing weight, constipation, urinary problems, erectile dysfunction, sweating a lot, smelling less well, dizziness, less ability to express words.
- Your sleep: often drowsy during the day, lying awake at night, agitation due to cramps, restless legs, difficulty turning.
Everything to keep your quality of life as high as possible.
For the World Parkinson Fund, this is of course a large part of our mission. We are therefore happy to fund research aimed at improving the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients and their loved ones.
Cause of Parkinson’s disease
The cause of Parkinson’s is not yet known. It has been scientifically established how certain parkinsonisms develop. Parkinson’s is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain. When about 70% of these dopamine-producing cells have died, Parkinson’s symptoms appear. However, it is not yet known why these nerve cells die.
The Parkinson’s Fund is trying to find out this with medical scientific research. Only then can we develop a medicine to overcome the disease.
There are several theories for the cause of Parkinson’s disease
Researchers were already looking for genetic causes and abnormalities and environmental factors that may play a role, such as:
- toxic gasses
- heavy metals
See also, Multiple Sclerosis
Dr. James Parkinson
Parkinson’s disease is named after James Parkinson
James Parkinson was an English physician (1755-1824) and was the first to describe the symptoms of this then-unknown disease. He discovered at the time that there is no discernible onset of the disease and that the complaints develop slowly and progressively. He also reports in his report on ‘shaking palsy’ that, before the disease actually manifests itself, patients experience a feeling of weakness and trembling in one or both hands.
World Parkinson’s Day
April 11 is the birthday of James Parkinson: World Parkinson’s Day is organized every year . There will then be extra attention for the disease worldwide.
Who Discovered Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is named after James Parkinson (1755-1824). This born and raised Londoner was a versatile man.
He worked as a doctor, geologist, neurologist, scientist and also worked as a social activist.
James Parkinson has published several medical articles. He is most famous for his “Essay on the Shaking Palsy ” (1817). A very important document: in this he first described what would later become known as Parkinson’s disease. He studied symptoms of prolonged trembling in various parts of the body, especially the hands and arms. Shaking refers to the twitching / tremor, palsy to the weakening / paralysis of the muscles.
Other doctors – such as the Greek Galen – have written about shaking palsy before. However, Parkinson’s descriptions were so detailed that he inspired others to take a closer look at shaking palsy syndrome. Four decades later, French physician Jean-Martin Charcot linked James Parkinson’s name to the syndrome. Parkinson’s disease did not receive attention until the twentieth century. In 1912, the American JG Rowntree published an article on the disease in the Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in which he recognized James Parkinson.
Parkinson’s disease private and professional
James Parkinson was born on April 11, 1755. He is the son of John and Mary Parkinson. His father was the local surgeon and pharmacist and that early on inspired James to pursue a career in the medical field as well. He learned Latin, Greek, natural philosophy and shorthand: these were considered essential basic subjects for a doctor. Few details are known about his medical training, but historians did find some clues in his publications. Parkinson graduated from London Hospital Medical College in 1776 and received his degree from the Royal College of Surgeons. Parkinson’s was also influenced by John Hunter, a researcher with a specific interest in biology, pathology and medical science. In his notes, Parkinson’s mentions Hunter’s descriptions of tremor and paralysis.
James Parkinson had 6 children
In 1781 James married Mary Dale and they had six children. He took over his father’s practice after his death in 1794. In addition to his work as a doctor, he immersed himself in chemistry, geology, politics and paleontology. He co-founded scientific societies for medicine and geology and wrote textbooks on chemistry. As a social activist, he published several pamphlets, both under his own name and under the pseudonym Old Hubert. He advocated direct citizen representation in the House of Commons. Parkinson’s was also a member of several secret political societies. One of these – the London Corresponding Society for Reform of Parliamentary Representation – was even suspected of involvement in a plot to assassinate King George III. All charges were later dropped.
Gradually Parkinson’s interest shifted to geology. He studied plant and animal fossils. And he participated in the debate about science and the religious explanation of life 50 years before Charles Darwin. He acknowledged that the creation of life had a long development period but that he believed that this was done by the hand of God.
In 1824, Parkinson’s suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body and made him unable to speak. On December 21 of that year, he died at the age of 69. His birthday – April 11 – is celebrated annually as World Parkinson’s Day. This day heralds a period of worldwide extra attention for Parkinson’s disease.
See also, Pterygium eye disease
Preparing for a life with Parkinson’s disease
How can you prepare for life with Parkinson’s disease?
Every patient experiences their life with Parkinson’s differently. Everyone also has different symptoms and the course also varies per person. One patient is stable for years, while the other progresses quickly.
Huge impact on life
The fact is that Parkinson’s has a huge impact on daily functioning. Apparently simple actions such as brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and smearing a sandwich can become an exhausting battle. Cozy parties or dinners can become activities to look up to as high as the sky. Parkinson’s also changes behavior and character.
Due to the slow decline, you increasingly need help and understanding from those around you. You will, of course, be regularly monitored by your general practitioner and neurologist. They will adjust your medication if necessary, check how you are dealing with the disease and, where necessary, engage other care providers (physiotherapist, speech therapist, nutritionist, psychologist).
Everything to keep your quality of life as high as possible.
This is a major part of our mission for the Parkinson’s Fund. We are therefore happy to fund research aimed at improving the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients and their loved ones.
See also, Stuck ring on the finger
Parkinson’s disease symptoms
What are the signs of Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s is a complicated disease that manifests itself in numerous symptoms. These can often be divided into motor (aimed at movement) and non-motor complaints such as depressive thoughts. The symptoms of Parkinson’s differ per patient, so not everyone will experience all symptoms.
The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
- tremble (in a resting position)
- move more slowly and less
- arm or leg can no longer move
- difficulty maintaining balance and coordination
- difficulty speaking (softer and monotonous)
- trouble writing (cramped)
- flat facial expression (‘mask’)
Other symptoms that regularly occur with Parkinson’s disease:
- bladder and bowel problems
- falling and dizziness
- eye problems
- pain in limbs
- emotional instability
- memory disorders
- sleep disturbances
- low bloodpressure
- cognitive decline
- freezing (blockage when walking)
- restless legs
- skin problems
- excessive sweating
- speech and communication problems
- difficulty swallowing
See also, Heart and vascular disease
What types of Parkinson’s disease are there?
Different types of Parkinson’s can be distinguished.
Possible types of Parkinson’s disease:
- post-encephalitic Parkinson syndrome (after encephalitis)
- Parkinson syndrome due to poisoning (heavy metals)
- vascular parkinsonism (due to diabetes)
- parkinsonism as a side effect of drugs
- dementia with Lewy bodies (with hallucinations)
- hereditary Parkinson’s
- juvenile Parkinson’s (under 20 years of age)
Real Parkinson’s disease – also called idiopathic Parkinsonism – manifests itself differently in each patient. The word ‘idiopathic’ is a medical term for ‘of unknown cause’.
Parkinson-like disorders are also distinguished from Parkinson’s disease.
These are called Parkinsonism or Parkinson syndrome: a collective name for conditions that resemble Parkinson’s.
The difference lies in the dopamine: in Parkinson’s the production of dopamine is disrupted, in Parkinsonism the dopamine collection is not good so that Parkinson’s drugs do not work in Parkinsonism’s.
Post encephalitic Parkinson syndrome
The origin of the disease
Post-encephalitic Parkinson syndrome or Parkinsonism develops after inflammation of the brain tissue.
Symptoms of the disease
The patient develops symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, but usually on one side of the body. A common complaint with this specific parkinsonism is spasms of the eye muscles.
The symptoms also show up a bit earlier, on average when the patient is between 40 and 50 years old.
Encephalitis / encephalitis is not meningitis or meningitis. At the beginning of the last century there was an epidemic of encephalitis worldwide.
Among the countless victims, many were with Parkinsonian syndrome. The first symptoms usually appeared years after the epidemic.
Another term for this parkinsonism is also called hypokinetic rigid syndrome . Parkinsonism is given this predicate when the movement delay and at least one of the other motor phenomena can be determined from the motor symptoms.
See aslo, Tietze’s disease Symptoms and treatments
Parkinson syndrome due to poisoning
Anyone who regularly comes into contact with heavy metals such as mercury, copper, manganese and lead in their work environment can damage the black nuclei of the brain. With Parkinson-like symptoms as a result.
Parkinsonian syndrome can also develop after poisoning with carbon monoxide or pesticides and after prolonged use of antipsychotics.
When too much manganese gets into the body, it can build up in specific areas of the brain quite quickly and cause neurotoxic damage. This is called manganese poisoning or manganism. The symptoms are very similar to those of Parkinson’s disease: tremors, motor problems, stiff muscles, cognitive and psychiatric disorders.
Manganism also involves inflammatory reactions in the lungs and metabolic disorders in the liver. This syndrome is also referred to as manganese-induced parkinsonism.
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Vascular Parkinsonism is caused by strokes and chronic circulatory disorders deep in the brain.
The infarcts are mainly in the anterior lobe of the brain; the patient does not always notice these and they can cause parkinsonism at a later stage. Parkinsonism can also develop after paralysis.
A patient with vascular parkinsonism usually walks in smaller steps, in a dribble step. It often takes longer to make a random movement. During the course of the disease, the strength and speed of movements with the arms and legs also decrease.
The patient has minimal balance problems / falls, stiff muscles or a tremor (at rest). If the patient only suffers from his legs – difficult steps and balance, walking with small steps – this is referred to as lower body parkinsonism.
With vascular or lower-body parkinsonism, the patient responds less to Parkinson’s medication such as Levodopa, the symptoms start gradually on both sides of the body, and he develops walking, speech, and swallowing disorders more quickly. Mental disorders are also common.
Because the treatment of vascular parkinsonism is usually less effective than in Parkinson’s, the prognosis is less good and the quality of life decreases rapidly.
Risk factors for vascular parkinsonism are diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, smoking, increased cholesterol, and little exercise.
See also, Yellow fever is a virus infection
Parkinson’s due to drugs
Some drugs cause Parkinson’s symptoms by slowing down the stimulus transfer of dopamine in the basal nuclei. Because the substantia nigra are not damaged, this form is called parkinsonism as a result of medication – also known as drug-induced parkinsonism.
Antipsychotics in particular can be culprits. If a patient is taking sedatives for hallucinations and delusions, he may develop a dopamine deficiency. This is also related to the dosage. Parkinsonian symptoms can develop immediately or after a while.
Parkinsonism as a side effect of drugs occurs mainly in the elderly. The susceptibility to develop this parkinsonism varies from person to person. By stopping the medication or reducing the dose, this form of parkinsonism usually disappears. Patients with Parkinsonism due to antipsychotics usually respond well to levodopa and dopamine agonists.
Dementia with Lewy bodies
Fluctuations in the deterioration of the mental functioning of the patient in combination with Parkinson’s symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, slow movement, a bent posture, and an abnormal gait, can lead to dementia with Lewy bodies. Also called Lewy Body dementia.
Quite early in the disease process the patient can start to see things that are not there. Due to these visual hallucinations, the dementia is not easy to diagnose. The patient’s memory and ability to perform normal daily activities often remain intact for a long time. Against this are periods of confusion and depression. The degree of dementia varies from day to day.
Abnormal protein deposits
Lewy bodies are abnormal protein deposits in nerve cells. In people with Parkinson’s, these protein deposits are in the substantia nigra. If the patient shows symptoms of dementia within a year of developing Parkinsonian symptoms, this is called Lewy Body dementia. If he develops symptoms of dementia later in the course of the disease, this falls under Parkinson’s disease.
Hereditary Parkinson’s disease
Because the cause of Parkinson’s disease has not yet been medically scientifically unraveled, it is also difficult to determine the heredity of the disease.
However, Parkinson’s disease is hereditary in exceptional cases (less than 10%). Then the disease occurs (several times) in the family. Or an error in the DNA causes Parkinson’s.
You usually cannot tell from the symptoms whether the Parkinson’s is hereditary or non-hereditary. However, the disease sometimes starts earlier with the hereditary variant of Parkinson’s. If the disease does not (yet) occur in other family members, it is difficult to indicate whether the disease is hereditary. Nowadays, DNA research is possible into hereditary forms of Parkinson’s. However, it is not easy to interpret the result and not all hereditary forms of the disease are known. Suppose the test shows a normal DNA result, the Parkinson’s can still be hereditary.
Because the treatment of patients with a hereditary form of Parkinson’s is exactly the same as that of patients with non-hereditary Parkinson’s, DNA testing in Parkinson’s is rarely performed. A DNA test is started when it helps the neurologist in determining a treatment strategy and when Parkinson’s occurs in many family members.
Early Parkinson’s disease
Between 5 and 10% of patients have the first Parkinson’s symptoms before their 50th or even 40th year of life. In that case, the diagnosis is early Parkinson’s.
It’s rare, but Parkinson’s disease also affects adolescents and children. Under the age of 20 we speak of juvenile Parkinson’s. As in patients aged 60 years and older, the symptoms in early Parkinson’s differ from person to person.
The main complaints are motor in nature; especially dystonia – neurological movement disorders with overly active muscles – is common. It seems that young Parkinson’s patients have a greater genetic predisposition to the disease. However, the disease does develop more slowly and they retain their cognitive functions longer.
Because younger patients are more sensitive to the long-term side effects of Levodopa (tremors, difficulty walking, uncontrolled movements) and have to live longer with the disease, they receive different treatment. The use of Levodopa is delayed for as long as possible. Instead, they receive dopamine agonists or MAO-B inhibitors.
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Parkinson’s disease treatment
Parkinson’s treatment mainly focuses on reducing the symptoms and relieving the complaints. Essential in the treatment is a combination of medicines, sufficient exercise, and a healthy diet. Unfortunately, Parkinson’s cannot be cured yet. It’s a progressive disease.
Medicines for Parkinson’s disease
What medications for Parkinson’s disease are available?
Unfortunately, there is no drug yet to cure Parkinson’s disease. However, the neurologist can prescribe medication that can reduce the complaints.
Levodopa or a dopamine agonist reduces shaking and makes you move more smoothly. These drugs can cause side effects, although it is often difficult to determine whether these side effects are from the medication or the disease. Patients suffer from, among other things, a dry mouth, feel nauseous, dizzy, confused, suffer from constipation, insomnia or fall asleep during the day and uninhibited behavior. Your neurologist tries to tailor the medication so that you experience as few side effects as possible.
This substance is converted into dopamine in the brain and replenishes the lack of dopamine.
These drugs mimic the action of dopamine. Patients are sometimes prescribed them in the first phase of the disease, or later in combination with Levodopa.
Due to the dopamine deficiency, acetylcholine, another messenger substance in the brain, gets the upper hand. This can be counteracted with anti-cholinergics.
Prevents the breakdown of dopamine. This substance is often used at an early stage of the disease or in combination with other medications.
Parkinson’s disease therapy
Tailor-made therapy for every Parkinson’s patient
Until science finds a cure, most Parkinson’s symptoms are treated with drugs to make the disease somewhat bearable. Every Parkinson’s patient has a different disease process.
Your specialist or Parkinson’s nurse will always put together a tailor-made treatment.
Many patients benefit from additional therapies, ranging from talks with a psychiatrist to specific surgery such as deep brain stimulation.
Which operations are possible for Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s patients who have been suffering from the disease for a long time and for whom the medication does not help sufficiently against the symptoms, are eligible for surgery. However, not everyone is suitable for a surgical procedure and it is never without risk: so please discuss this with your neurologist or Parkinson’s nurse.
More control over Parkinsonian symptoms
Surgery can help you gain more control over symptoms. There is no complete cure (yet), so the disease and accompanying complaints will progress slowly despite the operation. Most patients still need medication after surgery.
Brain stimulation in Parkinson’s
One of the most commonly used surgical techniques in Parkinson’s is deep brain stimulation (DBS). Electrodes are placed deep in the brain. These are connected to an internal stimulator. By means of electrical stimulation, symptoms can be suppressed very specifically in the brain.
Future with Parkinson’s disease
Promising developments to overcome Parkinson’s
Much of the current research focuses on trying to replace the lost dopamine. After all, without dopamine-producing cells, the brain cannot function normally, resulting in the well-known Parkinson symptoms.
The Parkinson Fund also funds research on gene therapy. The aim of this study is to prevent the death of nerve cells. We also make stem cell research possible with the support of donors. Scientists try to see whether dead dopamine-producing cells can be replaced by new healthy dopamine-producing cells. These new cells come from stem cells grown in the laboratory. Promising developments for the future.
Everyday life with Parkinson’s disease
Dealing with Parkinson’s disease in daily life.
Above all, stay positive
- make sure you understand Parkinson’s disease
- continue with what you enjoy
- keep at your own pace and accept help when needed
- exercise when you are well-rested and at your own pace
- recognize when you are tired
- Feel free to ask for help from a physiotherapist, if necessary.
- stick to a balanced diet
- eat fruits, vegetables, high protein foods, dairy, and grains
- keep your fluid balance (drink at least one and a half liters of water a day).
Exercise with Parkinson’s disease
How do I deal with freezing?
- use the motor and sensory tricks
- use visual stimuli and verbal or auditory stimuli
- can use knee and wrist guards to avoid injury
How do I deal with postural instability?
- make sure your feet are straight under your body
- make a wide arc when turning instead of turning around your axis
- use a walker, walking stick or other aids
- get plenty of exercises, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, and don’t drink too much after 5 pm
- relax before going to sleep; set a sleep schedule, sleep until dawn, and don’t lie awake in bed
- make sure your bedroom has the right temperature and that you have easy access to water, turning aids, the toilet, and the alarm clock.
Parkinson’s disease and your diet
‘Exercise regularly and eat healthy’ is an advice that everyone can take to heart. However, it is even more important for Parkinson’s patients to eat a balanced diet. So lots of fruits, vegetables and other complex carbohydrates such as grains and corn and certain proteins. Of course you should also drink enough. Here you will find a selection of nutritional tips and recommendations from the English dietician Nan Millette. Especially for people with Parkinson’s disease. Find out if you are already eating well or if you may need to adjust your eating habits!
Drink lots of water
Drinking a lot (8-10 cups / glasses of water per day) is an essential part of a healthy diet and helps reduce constipation – coffee and tea don’t count as they are dehydrated.
Drink more, take small sips of water often, suck on a piece of ice, or use a mouth spray or mouthwash. Sucking on a piece of candy or chewing gum can also help produce more saliva and reduce dry mouth.
Carbohydrates and sugar
Dyskinesia worsens after eating foods rich in carbohydrates and sugar. However, carbohydrates are much needed to maintain body weight and energy levels.
Facilitate swallowing by yawning several times before eating to relax the throat when it is tight. Keep your chin close to your chest and sit in a good and comfortable position. Drink small sips of water and put small amounts of food on your fork or spoon.
Eat at set times according to a balanced diet, drink a lot and exercise regularly.
The current general nutritional recommendations are:
- A daily energy intake of about 25 to 30 calories per kilogram of body weight, with extra calories if you have dyskinesias.
- A carbohydrate / protein ratio of at least 4/1 or 5/1.
- A recommended daily portion of protein of approximately 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
- It is recommended that you take three balanced meals a day. However, some people with Parkinson’s find it easier to eat smaller meals more often. Those who already eat a healthy and balanced diet may not need to change their eating habits at all.
Some more practical tips:
- Serve hot drinks in an insulated cup to prevent them from cooling. Spout cups prevent spills and aid in drinking.
- Do not overfill cups. A straw can be useful. Weighted cups can help prevent vibrations while drinking.
- Serve the food at a higher level. For example, put the plate on a box or a stand: this way the food is closer to the mouth.
- Place the plate on a rubber mat to prevent it from sliding.
- Some foods, vitamins, or unusual diets have been touted for relieving Parkinson’s disease. However, often there is no evidence that this is really the case. Always discuss a diet with your medical attendants first!
Night’s rest with Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease and your sleep
People with Parkinson’s disease often have sleep disorders. They have trouble falling and staying asleep. In addition, they suffer from stiff muscles and muscle contractions while sleeping. They often dream very intensely, can suddenly sleepwalk and wake up regularly with headaches. Some patients develop sleep apnea and do not breathe for certain periods during their sleep. The result is often that patients are extremely tired during the day and fight against sleep attacks or sleep for a long time. Which makes them lie awake again at night, very annoying and tiring.
We have collected some tips for you to deal with sleep disorders.
1. Set up a sleep schedule
Structure and regularity are the first steps towards a better night’s sleep. So go to bed at a fixed time as much as possible and get up at a fixed time as much as possible.
Get plenty of exercise throughout your day. Take a walk, go to the supermarket by bike, keep your muscles flexible! Exercising for
half an hour at least five times a week is essential for this. But don’t force anything.
3. No stimulants
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. These stimulants make your heart beat faster and your blood pressure rise. Your body will remain alert as long as these drugs are in your blood.
Relax before going to sleep. Avoid distractions and activities that stimulate your brain. For example, put your phone, laptop or tablet away well before going to sleep.
5. Sleep at least until sunrise
It is not the number of hours you sleep that is important, but whether you feel rested. Still, it is advisable to sleep until the sun comes up. This stops the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
6. Don’t toss and turn
Don’t turn in bed in frustration and worry when you can’t get to sleep. Get out there for a stroll around the house. Keep your surroundings as dark as possible
(in connection with the production of melatonin) and avoid your phone, tablet and other luminous screens.
7. Make sure the temperature is right
Make sure your bedroom has the right temperature. When your body cannot reach the ideal body temperature, it disrupts your sleep. The most ideal temperature during your sleep is 18 degrees.
Some people wake up less often at night thanks to blackout curtains or earplugs. If you do wake up at night, make sure you have aids that make it easy to turn over in bed, such as a parrot, a bed rail or a height-adjustable bed.
Consult your doctor
Are you not getting rid of your sleeping problems? Then consult your doctor. He or she can also best tell you which medicines you can use for sleep disorders. It is important to describe your symptoms as precisely as possible so that your doctor can tailor the medicines as best as possible. So never experiment with medicines yourself, but always get extensive information from a specialist.
Clothing tips for Parkinson’s patients
Some items of clothing can be clumsy and certain fabrics may feel uncomfortable.
- Wear shoes that are easy to get into. For example without laces, or with Velcro.
- Leather soles are sensible, so you have more ‘grip’ while standing / walking.
- Use a long shoehorn to put on your shoes effortlessly.
- To keep warm, thermal underwear is recommended. Is also nice and firm!
- Choose clothes with simple closures; not dozens of little buttons or hooks to fiddle with.
- Hassle with zippers? You can also opt for garments with elastic.
- Silk clothing is comfortable to wear.
- This also applies to sheets and duvet covers: silk or satin bedding makes it easier to turn around in bed.
Parkinson’s disease and stress
A little bit of stress from time to time is quite healthy. It keeps you sharp and motivated. But you should avoid that persistent, energy-consuming stress. Especially as a Parkinson’s patient.
The more stress factors, the more you suffer from the physical effects of Parkinson’s: vibrating harder, moving more slowly, more pain. You can prevent or at least reduce stress.
Please take the advice of Faye Rhodes to heart. This former president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) has 11 anti-stress tips for you.
Recognize the stressors in your life
Some are addicted to adrenaline, others enjoy a relaxing evening at home the most. You have born leaders and on the other hand just as many people who prefer to play a supporting role. One finds support from his family, the other runs miles away when he needs help or comfort. Either way, everyone is different. And so everyone has different stressors. Try to recognize what stresses you and what you feel in a stressful situation. Do you lack sleep, are you confused, frustrated, do you take too much responsibility or do you have too many appointments and obligations? Pay attention to this and do something about it!
Delete that stress.
If you draw up such a list of stress factors, you will undoubtedly see that you can get rid of some of them immediately. Ban the simplest stressors from your list right away. Can’t sleep from exciting, scary, or sad movies? Then don’t watch it. Coffee gets you hyper, have a decaffeinated coffee, or even better, don’t drink it at all. It can be that simple.
Nobody is indispensable.
Reconsider the commitments and agreements you have entered into. This applies to both work and private life. We all like to think we are indispensable. But will the world end if you quit your job or if you are not available weekly as a helper at school? Does your relationship still give you enough energy? Are you doing what your heart desires? Or are you doing what you think others expect of you? Important things to realize!
Feel free to ask for help
When assessing your situation and / or setting goals, feel free to seek the help of a coach, professional counselor or friend. Divide tasks into small pieces. Achieving many small wins motivates you to keep going. Many people benefit from meditation in dealing with stress.
Make room for free time
Schedule a rest. Prioritize your recovery periods. What relaxes you? Want to meet up with friends, read a book or go for a walk? To do. Make this a priority. Relax and enjoy.
Exercise more and eat healthy
This can be done step by step. Feel free to start with a walk, you really don’t necessarily have to spend hours in the gym. Eat more fruits and vegetables and try to avoid caffeine as much as possible.
Set reasonable eating and exercise goals and you have a greater chance of making progress than people who start off too ambitiously.
No control? No worries!
After all, you are not in control and cannot do more than your best. Realize this during stressful events such as a job interview, exam, presentation or performance.
Resolve conflicts with others as much as possible
Or avoid them. Because they cost too much energy.
Sleep as much as you can
Admittedly, this is not always easy for Parkinson’s patients. But it is important. If you are unable to sleep through the night,
Try one or more daytime naps. A power nap works wonders.
Try to see change as a positive challenge
See changes in your life as a challenge, as an opportunity to grow and develop as a person. You cannot control the circumstances or the behavior of other people, but you can control your own attitude. Your attitude makes the difference between being satisfied and grumpy, between being happy and unhappy. What feels better – for you and your environment?
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