Parkinson's Disease, Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease

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Parkinson's Disease, Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease

What is Dementia?


Dementia is a syndrome, not a specific disease so the symptoms of dementia can originate from a large group of injuries or diseases. The symptoms of dementia can include one or more of these: memory failure; diminished ability to keep multiple tasks in mind simultaneously; problems with language comprehension or expression; trouble understanding spatial orientation; impaired executive function; and inaccurate decoding of others’ nonverbal cues.


What is Alzheimer’s Disease?


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia among older adults and it is an irreversible degeneration of the brain which causes disruptions in memory, cognition, personality, and other functions. These can eventually lead to death from complete brain failure.


Genetic and environmental factors including diet, activity, smoking, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, and other medical diseases contribute to the risk of developing this form of the disease. The hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease are the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and neurofibrillary tangles, which are twisted fibers found inside the brain’s cells).


What is Parkinson’s Disease?


Parkinson’s disease (PD) was described by James Parkinson nearly 100 years before Dr. Alois Alzheimer described the dementia later named Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Called the “shaking palsy” by Parkinson, PD is diagnosed when a person shows at least two of these three symptoms: slowed movements (bradykinesia), muscle rigidity, and tremor (at rest). We recognise other associated signs of PD, including expressionless face, quiet speech, cramped handwriting, shuffling gait, trouble getting out of a chair, and difficulty swallowing.


Most cases of PD are referred to as ‘idiopathic’ meaning the cause remains unknown, although a small number of cases are linked with poisoning (certain pesticides, manganese, carbon monoxide), head trauma, more complex PD-like neurological disorders (such as vascular Parkinsonism, progressive supra-nuclear palsy, and multiple system atrophy), or reversible toxic medication effects (anti-psychotics and some anti-vomiting medications),


Age of Onset for each of these diseases


The majority of people with AD have the late-onset type and this is where symptoms first appear after people get to their mid-60s.


PD begins earlier than AD, typically between ages 50 and 65, with an average age of onset of around 62 years, and only a few cases begin before age 40. PD is less common than AD but still an important cause of neurological illness among older adults.


Cognitive Decline


Cognitive decline is common in both AD and PD, though significantly less common in PD. As many as half of the people with PD, develop cognitive difficulties, which can range from mild forgetfulness to full-blown dementia.


Behavioural Symptoms


Just like people with AD, people with PD can also develop behavioural problems. Apathy is a common development in both diseases and so is depression. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell these syndromes apart but it’s important to try because they are managed differently.


Anxiety is common to both PD and AD, and may require some treatment. Psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, too, can occur in both AD and PD.


Finally, the quality of sleep deteriorates in both AD and PD. AD patients often have fragmented sleep, while PD patients experience a different problem called REM (rapid eye movement) behavior disorder, in which physical activity occurs during the normally motionless period of REM sleep.


Lewy Body Dementia


Some older adults develop movement symptoms similar to those of PD after, or only shortly before, developing cognitive difficulties that look like AD. This combination of movement and cognitive changes is characteristic of the disease considered by some to be the second most common dementia: Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).


Whether LBD is truly a different condition than PD with dementia or is a variant of the same disorder, remains a topic under debate.


Distinguishing between different types of neuro-degenerative conditions is important because it helps in determining the best treatment approach. The Ozone Clinic has a range of therapies which can help with AD and PD.


The Ozone Clinic has a range of therapies which can treat these conditions.

Disclaimer: In Australia, some of the therapies offered at the Ozone Clinic are not officially recognised as a part of mainstream medical practice. These therapies are known as complementary therapies and are considered to be useful as an additional treatment to those offered by your medical practitioner. The Ozone Clinic and its personnel are fully trained in the application of these complementary therapies but they’re not registered medical practitioners and are considered to be complementary therapists.

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    • Address Ozone Clinic Sydney, 77 Cecil Avenue, Castle Hill, NSW 2154 Australia
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