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Parkinson's Disease

Limber vs stiff

04/27/2007

Question:

My father currently is on Sinemet for PD. He feels like a walking experiment. The doctor keeps giving him this medication and that medication and nothing seems to help. Our doctors appoints are 10 to 15 minutes and a complete sentence cannot come out of my or my fathers mouth without new meds being prescribed on top of old meds that don`t work. Some of these drugs cause more of the symptoms that they are suppose to alieve. My dad has anxiety attacks, hallucinations, won`t eat because he hallucinates that he already has. Everytime he does something like stares off into space he is told it is yet another classic symptom of Parkinson`s Disease. How many drugs and symptoms are there. Yesterday we were told by a speech theragist that if dad coughs while he eats or within 30 mins after he eats it is a sign of swallowing problems but if he coughs at any other time during the day it can be attibuted to the allergies that he has had for years.

Help, we are exhausted trying to figure out what is PD and what isn`t. What are classic PD symptoms and what are not. For each different Dr. or Therapist we talk to there are new classic symptoms to add to the list. If we can trust what the medical professionals are telling us then we have a 13 year old, 17 year old, 44 year old, and 73 year old that all have PD.

Answer:

The cardinal features of Parkinson's disease (PD) are slowness of movement, rigidity, tremor, and postural instability.   Every person with PD presents with a variability of these symptoms, along with various other symptoms.  There are so many non-motor symptoms of PD that sometimes it is hard to figure out what is PD and what is not.  It is important that all bothersome symptoms be evaluated and addressed by a person's doctor. 

Sometimes obtaining an evaluation from a doctor who specializes in PD is necessary to help the other treating physicians.  This is especially important in PD given the variability of problems and that no one specific treatment is right for everyone.  I suggest you find a physician who specializes in Parkinson's Disease to evaluate your father.  You can look on www.wemove.org to help you find one closest to where you live.

For more information:

Go to the Parkinson's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Punit  Agrawal, DO Punit Agrawal, DO
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Karen M Thomas, DO Karen M Thomas, DO
Formerly:
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University