Detecting Parkinson’s Disease Earlier

Long before the classic symptoms of tremors and gait instability appear, Parkinson’s disease, which affects 1.5 million Americans, might be diagnosable allowing for the possibility for earlier intervention and amelioration of the disease.

Tablet with the diagnosis parkinson's disease on the display

The Lancet published a study in January 2015 that found that many of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease had experienced the following symptoms five years earlier:

  • Tremors
  • Balance problems
  • Constipation,
  • Low blood pressure,
  • Dizziness
  • Erectile and urinary dysfunction,
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Additionally, the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Institute at the Weill Cornell Medical Center found that REM sleep behavior disorder is one of the strongest indicators for the disease. This is when someone acts out their dreams while still asleep. A Parkinson’s pre-diagnostic symptom can also be the loss of the sense of smell and minor changes in cognitive ability.

Having a combination of these risk factors may prompt someone to see a neurologist specially trained in movement disorders. An early diagnosis may qualify someone for participation in clinical trials for new treatments. This could be critical since by the time the typical symptoms appear, the brain could have lost more than half of its dopamine producing cells.

The National Parkinson Foundation reported that neurologists are working on bio-markers in the blood, saliva, and spinal fluid as a way to identify those at risk for developing the disease. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is also actively involved in clinical trials for vaccines and drugs to combat this debilitating disease.

David York Agency (DYA) is skilled at recognizing the symptoms of various diseases endemic to the elderly and makes every effort to send caring and compassionate home health aides into the client’s home. DYA provides certified home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines and trends for seniors.  We would be happy to discuss your case with you.  Please call for a free consultation today at (718) 376-7755 or visit our website.  You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, google+ and LinkedIn.