Parkinson's Disease (cont.)

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How can people learn to cope with Parkinson's disease?

Although Parkinson's disease progresses slowly, it will eventually affect every aspect of life - from social engagements, work, to basic routines. Accepting the gradual loss of independence can be difficult. Being well informed about the disease can reduce anxiety about what lies ahead. Many support groups offer valuable information for individuals with Parkinson's disease and their families on how to cope with the disorder. Local groups can provide emotional support as well as advice on where to find experienced doctors, therapists, and related information. It is also very important to stay in close contact with health care professionals to monitor the progression of the disease and to adjust therapies to maintain the highest quality of living.

Can Parkinson's disease be prevented?

Scientists currently believe that Parkinson's disease is triggered through a complex combination of genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental factors such as toxins, illness, and trauma. Since the exact causes are not known, Parkinson's disease is at present not preventable.

What is the prognosis of Parkinson's disease?

The severity of Parkinson's disease symptoms vary greatly from individual to individual and it is not possible to predict how quickly the disorder will progress. Parkinson's disease itself is not a fatal disease, and the average life expectancy is similar to that of people without the disease. Secondary complications, such as pneumonia, falling-related injuries, and choking can lead to death. There are many treatment options that can reduce some of the symptoms and can prolong the quality of life of an individual with Parkinson's disease.

Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

Arenas, E. Towards stem cell replacement therapies for Parkinson's disease. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2010; vol 396: pp 152-156.

Chen, J.C. Parkinson's Disease: Health-Related Quality of Life, Economic Cost, and Implications of Early Treatment American Journal of Managing Care, 2010; vol 16: pp S87-S93.

Fricker-Gates, R.A. and Gates, M.A. Stem cell-derived dopamine neurons for repair in Parkinson's disease. Regenerative Medicine, March 2010; vol 5(2): pp267-78.

Hauser, R.A., Early Pharmacologic Treatment in Parkinson's Disease. American Journal of Managing Care, 2010; vol 16: pp S100-S107.

Pahwa, R. and Lyons, K.E. diagnosis of Parkinson's disease: recommendations from diagnostic clinical guidelines. American Journal of Managing Care, 2010; vol 16: pp S194-S99.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2013

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