How do I Know I Have a Parkinson’s……..

There are many great mysteries and unanswered questions surrounding Parkinson’s disease diagnosis or rather misdiagnosis. One of them is Lyme disease.
LYME DISEASE IS A PARKINSON’S IMITATOR
Lyme is everywhere. Lyme disease and all of its co-infections is often misdiagnosed for Parkinson’s. Symptoms of a Lyme infection are similar to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. As a result, it has become known as “the great imitator.” Many people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease actually have a Lyme infection.
Lyme can also be the cause of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. There are many documented cases of individuals with confirmed borrelia infection who went on to develop Parkinson’s disease, (Lyme-associated parkinsonism followed by autopsy published in the journal Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine) as well as Individuals with Lyme misdiagnosed for Parkinson’s. Lyme with Parkinson’s symptoms looks exactly like real Parkinson’s. Exactly! Parkinson’s is progressive over years. But so is Lyme. The heart of the Parkinson’s diagnosis is ruling out other neurological disorders, since these symptoms are found in many other health conditions but this is not an easy or simple task and because of that Parkinson’s can be misdiagnosed.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE LYME DISEASE NOT PARKINSON’S?
Unfortunately there are no objective tests to definitively diagnose Parkinson’s. Tests for Lyme are mostly questionable but the two best and most-used antibody tests are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the Western Blot.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE PARKINSON’S DISEASE NOT LYME?
The commonly used test for diagnosing Parkinson’s is the UNIFIED PARKINSON’S DISEASE RATING SCALE (UPDRS ) This test takes into account factors other than motor symptoms, including mental functioning, mood and social interaction.This scale is a tools that doctors often use to diagnose and monitor the progression of Parkinson’s. The stages of Parkinson’s correspond both to the severity of movement symptoms and to how much the disease affects a person’s daily activities.

 

STAGES and SEVERITY of PARKINSON’S

Below are some descriptions of mild, moderate and advanced stages of Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s disease is chronic and progress slowly, progression of symptoms varies in timing and severity and continue to worsen often over a period of time. Not everyone will experience all of the symptoms of Parkinson’s, and if they do, they won’t necessarily experience them in quite the same order, or at the same level of intensity. Some people live with mild symptoms of Parkinson’s for many years, whereas others develop movement difficulties more quickly. Some symptoms are more troubling than others for instance non-motor symptoms such as depression and fatigue can be very challenging and create more problems than difficulty with movement.
While symptoms are unique to each person, and the progression of symptoms varies from person to person, knowing the typical stages of Parkinson’s can help you cope with changes as they come. In some people, it could take many years to go through these stages. In others, the disease progresses more quickly.

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Stage One – Mild Parkinson’s

During this initial stage, the person has mild symptoms that generally do not interfere with daily activities. Tremor and other movement symptoms occur on one side of the body only. Friends and family may notice changes in posture, walking and facial expressions.
  • Movement symptoms may be inconvenient, but do not affect daily activities
  • Movement symptoms, frequently tremor, occur on one side of the body
  • Slightly noticeably changes may occur in a person’s posture, walking ability or facial expression
  • Possible depression
  • Constipation and GI disorder
  • Regular exercise improves and maintains mobility, flexibility, range of motion and balance

Stage Two – Moderate Parkinson’s

In stage two of Parkinson’s, the symptoms start getting worse. Tremor, rigidity and other movement symptoms affect both sides of the body. Walking problems and poor posture may become apparent. In this stage, the person is still able to live alone, but completing day-to-day tasks becomes more difficult and may take longer.
  • Movement symptoms occur on both sides of the body
  • The body moves more slowly
  • Trouble with balance and coordination may develop
  • “Freezing” episodes – with feet stuck to the ground
  • Parkinson’s medications may cause side effects, including dyskinesias (involuntary movements)
  • Regular exercise and occupational therapy may provide strategies for maintaining independence and continue important of mobility and balance

Stage Three – Mid-Stage Parkinson’s

Stage three is considered mid-stage in the progression of the disease. Loss of balance and slowness of movements are hallmarks of this phase. Falls are more common. Though the person is still fully independent, symptoms significantly impair activities of daily living such as dressing and eating.

Stage Four – Advanced Parkinson’s

During this stage of Parkinson’s, symptoms are severe and very limiting. It’s possible to stand without assistance, but movement may require a walker. The person needs help with activities of daily living and is unable to live alone.
  • Great difficulty walking; in wheelchair or bed most of the day
  • Not able to live alone
  • Assistance needed with all daily activities
  • Cognitive problems may be prominent, including hallucinations and delusions
  • Balancing the benefits of medications with their side effects becomes more challenging.

Stage Five – Most Advanced Parkinson’s

This is the most advanced and debilitating stage of Parkinson’s disease. Stiffness in the legs may make it impossible to stand or walk. The person requires a wheelchair or is bedridden. Around-the-clock nursing care is required for all activities. The person may experience hallucinations and delusions. While stage five focuses on motor symptoms, there are many important non-motor symptoms as well. At all stages of Parkinson’s, therapies can help to ease symptoms and make it possible for people with Parkinson’s to live well.

The Diagnostic Disaster – Parkinson’s or Lyme?

Some of the more frequent symptoms include the following:
    • Muscle and joint pain
    • Neurological problems
    • Tremors – hands, arms, face and legs.
    • Movement disorders
    • Seizures
    • Cognitive problems
    • Fatigue
    • Low grade fevers, “hot flashes” or chills
    • Night sweats
    • Sore throat
    • Swollen glands
    • Stiff neck
    • Migrating arthralgias, stiffness and frank arthritis
    • Myalgia
    • Chest pain and palpitations
    • Abdominal pain, nausea
    • Sleep disturbance
    • Poor concentration and memory loss
    • Irritability and mood swings
    • Depression
    • Back pain
    • Blurred vision and eye pain & Hearing Problems
    • Jaw pain
    • Cranial nerve disturbance (facial numbness, pain, tingling, palsy or optic neuritis)
    • Lightheadedness
    • Mysterious migrating symptoms that seem to come and go
    • Migraines
    • Facial palsy,
    • Nervous system and heart problems
Look familiar, so what is it? ……this and hundred other symptoms could be Parkinson’s, could be Lyme or could be some other neurological disorder.
Lyme Disease is only one example of neurological condition that can mimic Parkinson’s. Many people suffer needlessly because of misdiagnosis so before you consider one or the other make sure that your properly and accurately diagnosed.

For More Information Please Contact Parkinson’s Clinic Int.

972-248-0780