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Parkinson's Disease

Can Parkinson`s bring on dementia?

06/05/2007

Question:

my father in law has parkinsons for 20 years now he seems to be getting confused lately i.e when he says something he looks really confused as if he didnt know he said it.he also keeps talking about things in the past,he gets very angry and tells us he still has a brain . can you tell me if it could be altzhiemers setting in and if parkinsone can bring it on if so what shall my mother in law do.... thank you ,,anne

Answer:

Parkinson's disease can be associated with dementia, especially in later stages of disease.  It is also possible that cognitive issues can be worsened by certain medications.  This is something that should be evaluated by a patient's primary care doctor or neurologist, especially since it may be necessary to slowly decrease a specific medication.  In addition, patients with dementia are often started on an anticholinergic medication to help some symptoms associated with dementia. 

Caring for an individual with dementia can be challenging, but it is important for family members to remain patient and supportive.  Sometimes it is helpful for people with dementia to keep physically active and mentally-stimulated as safety permits. Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia at this time.

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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