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Weight loss in Parkinson’s disease patients increases the risks for dementia and dependency care, and reduces patients’ life expectancy, according to a new study.
These findings suggest that monitoring weight and timely dietary interventions to counteract weight loss may significantly improve the outcome of Parkinson’s disease patients.
The study, “Early weight loss in parkinsonism predicts poor outcomes: Evidence from an incident cohort study,” was published in the journal Neurology.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland followed 515 participants – 187 with Parkinson’s disease, 88 with the so-called atypical parkinsonism, and 240 controls – for a median of five years. During this period they registered patients’ weight and evaluated how weight variations influenced disease outcomes.
Individuals with atypical parkinsonism are characterized by some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – such as tremor, slowness, and walking problems – without having a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
“Weight loss is a common problem in Parkinson’s but it wasn’t clear before we did this how common it was, mainly because of biases in previous studies, or what the consequences were of weight loss. Our hypothesis was that people who are losing weight were going to have adverse outcomes,” Dr. Angus Macleod, the study’s lead author, said in a press release.
The results showed that patients with Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism have, from early on, lower body weights compared to those without the disease, or controls. Further analysis also showed that weight loss occurring within one year of diagnosis was associated with a higher risk of dependency (patients are no longer able to perform daily activities), dementia, and death.
“Our finding that those who lose weight have poorer outcomes is important because reversing weight loss may therefore improve outcomes,” Macleod said. “Therefore, it is vital that further research investigate whether e.g. high calorie diets will improve outcomes in people with Parkinson’s who lose weight.”
“While other studies have demonstrated that weight loss is common in Parkinson’s, this is the first to consider the impact this symptom may have,” said Prof. David Dexter, deputy director of research at Parkinson’s UK, a charity that contributed funding for the research.
“It has yet to be determined whether this quicker progression can be corrected by supplementation with a high calorie diet, however this could be a key potential development,” Dexter added.
The post Weight Loss Linked to Worse Outcomes in Parkinson’s Patients, Study Shows appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.
Source:: Parkinson’s Today
While your loved one’s Parkinson’s diagnosis probably changed your life overnight, caregiver is a role and an identity that you grow into, and it does not have to erase or replace any existing ways you self-identify. In this session from our 2016 Caregiver Summit, Susan Hedlund, MSW, LCSW, shared how you can continue to experience the love, friendship, contribution to society, ideas, and sense of wholeness that you need to grow as your own person, while you and your loved one face Parkinson’s together.
Whether you care for someone who is recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), are adapting to new challenges as the disease progresses or have been living with PD for a long time, a strong support network is essential for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the person with Parkinson’s. Making sure you are taken care of, too, can help create a productive partnership that minimizes stress and conflict. Benefits include revitalized energy, renewed interest in creative endeavors, new subjects to talk about and the realization that you and your partner are not alone.
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, meaning that it changes over time. That can make it hard to define your role, as your involvement will change along the way. Responsibilities may include helping a loved one with daily activities, managing medications and making financial decisions.
Whatever your responsibilities, define “caregiving” for yourself. Especially early in the Parkinson’s journey, you might not feel like you are actually “giving” care. Similarly, your loved one might not see himself or herself as someone in need of care. But remember, care is not limited to physical tasks. Care can be emotional and spiritual as well as physical.
Source: Parkinson’s Foundation
One of the most frustrating symptoms of living with a chronic illness is brain fog. There are medications to treat many symptoms of chronic diseases, but sadly there isn’t yet a pill that takes away brain fog. However, there are ways to deal with it so patients can minimize its effects and lead a normal life.
Write Things Down
Everyone forgets things now and then, but having brain fog often means forgetting important dates and occasions. Keep a to-do list and a calendar in a highly visible location, or use an online diary to keep track of what each day holds. There are many mobile apps that can also help with organization.
Exercise the Body
Exercise offers a chance to turn off from all the usual things that occupy the mind. It can also improve sleep, which can in turn improve cognitive skills.
Exercise the Mind
Take the time to do thought-challenging exercises like crosswords, sudoku and jigsaw puzzles, or learn a new language. In addition, maintaining a hobby will keep the mind focused on something positive.
Pick the Right Time of Day
Whether a morning lark or night owl, we all have certain times when we feel more alert. Choose a time each day when your concentration is at its highest to tackle difficult and complex tasks.
Eat a Brain-Healthy Diet
Eat lots of good fats known for brain health such as nuts, avocados, coconut oil, and omega-3-rich foods.
Get Plenty of Rest
Quality sleep and restorative naps (when appropriate) can dramatically improve cognitive health. Try to keep to a routine bedtime and waking time, even on the weekend, to promote a good sleep pattern.
Go Easy on Yourself
Don’t overdo it. Ask for help when needed and try to rest as much as possible to conserve energy. Participate in calming activities like taking a stroll through a peaceful spot, reading a book, or listening to music.
Organize Your Home and Workspace
Reorganize your living and working space so that everything you need regularly is easily accessible. This can help conserve energy and provide peace of mind.
If brain fog is worse first thing in the morning, laying out clothes the night before will be one less thing to have to stress over in the morning. Sort meds into a daily medication box so you know when you’re up to date and can easily make sure you haven’t forgotten to take them (or don’t take them more than once).
Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Source:: Parkinson’s Today
Using a modified version of the CRISPR genome editing system, researchers have developed a new way to screen for genes that protect against specific diseases. They used this system to turn on randomly chosen genes in many different cells, allowing them to identify genes that protect cells from a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Source:: Science Daily -CLICK TO READ MORE