General Information

What is Parkinson's?

Parkinson’s disease (Parkinson’s) is a progressive neurological disorder, and is classified as a Movement Disorder, as it primarily affects movement. It is variable in its progression, i.e. some people progress more slowly than others, and the symptoms can be effectively controlled with medication for many years. Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of a chemical called dopamine. We all lose some of this chemical as we get older, however, it is only when we have lost about 80% of our dopamine we start to have symptoms. So people with Parkinson’s have lost this chemical at a faster rate than others. For more information read our leaflet: G1.1 What is Parkinson's?

Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson's

If you have just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease you will probably feel anxious about the future and have many questions. This leaflet provides some guidance on what you need to know or do just after being diagnosed. Always try to keep in mind that although living with Parkinson’s can be difficult, many people with Parkinson’s continue to lead active, fulfilling lives. For more information read our leaflet: G1.2 Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson's

Living with Parkinson's Disease

Once you and your family have had some time to adjust to the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease you then need to get on with your lives as best as possible. There is no doubt that Parkinson’s will have an effect on many aspects of your lives since Parkinson’s is with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can take over if you let it. It is important not to be defined by your Parkinson’s. Remember that how you cope will have a powerful influence on how your family and friends also cope with your illness. An optimistic outlook, maintaining your social life and being willing to adapt all make for a better outcome. For more information read our leaflet: G1.3 Living with Parkinson's Disease

Medications and Parkinson's Disease

Each person with Parkinson’s disease will have an individualised tailored regime depending upon his/her age, physical state, level of disease etc, thus no two patients’ drug regimes will be the same. Therefore the following is a rough generalised guide to therapy. For more information read our leaflet: G4 Medications and Parkinson's Disease

Dental Health and Parkinson's Disease

The most important factor in managing dental health for any person with Parkinson’s is a high standard of personal oral hygiene achieved daily in the home. This must be supplemented by regular dental checkups, in order to nip trouble in the bud, and also by more frequent visits to a dental hygienist (three to four times a year). For more information read our leaflet: G.5 Dental Health and Parkinson's Disease

Diet and Parkinson's Disease

Nutrition has an important role to play in the management of Parkinson’s. On diagnosis of Parkinson’s there is no need to make dietary changes, once the diet is well balanced. This leaflet provides information and advice about following a healthy well balanced diet. It also provides information and advice on nutritional issues such as constipation, changes in weight and appetite, and ways to overcome these problems. It also includes information on diet in relation to Parkinson’s medications. For more information read our leaflet: G8 Diet and Parkinson's Disease

Impulsive Compulsive Behaviours/Impulse Control Disorder

In the last decade, there is increasing awareness amongst people with Parkinson’s and their physicians that some medicines may potentially cause a change in some people’s behaviour. These changes are known as impulsive-compulsive behaviours and they are a potential side effect of commonly-used Parkinson’s medications - mainly dopamine agonists such as ropinirole, pramipexole, rotigotine, but also levodopa. A abnormal behaviour is characterised by an inability to resist an impulse or temptation, so the person can’t stop themselves from doing an activity repeatedly, excessively or obsessively. In most cases it is the family members who describe the full social and functional impact of these behaviours on the persons’ lives. For more information read our leaflet: G9 Impulsive Compulsive Behaviours/Impulse Control Disorder

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