This week on the blog we are talking about the different ways diseases can be connected; specifically focusing on Parkinson’s Disease. According to Parkinson.org, Parkinson’s Disease is described as being a neurodegenerative disorder which affects neurons in the brain that produce dopamine. Symptoms of Parkinson’s typically develop more over the years after a diagnosis and one of the initials signs is tremors. Other symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
- Slowness of movement
- Loss of smell
- Soft speech
- Freezing up with the inability to move
- Masked or rigid face
Image from chicagonow.com
Although these are only some of the symptoms, there are definitely others that can occur. Moreover, sometimes the symptoms can take on the face of another disease and make doctors think otherwise. These symptoms may be the most common, but that does not mean that each person will have all these exact ones when they are diagnosed. Since we are all different our bodies can react contrasting ways to certain diseases like Parkinson’s and look like another illness. Specifically, at Jancare, CEO Janice Green has seen doctors mistake Parkinson’s Disease for unresponsive behavior. It can be difficult for doctors to sometimes differentiate between diseases because of how similar symptoms can look. Janice has also seen confusion from Parkinson’s be mistaken for confusion from a UTI.
In addition to doctors mistaking certain diseases for others, we must not overlook the fact that even having the correct medicine can prevent other health issues. Another example from Jancare, is some patients with Parkinson’s may have a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a rehab therapist which can be very helpful to work the entire body. However, there have been cases where even with all these medical aids helping the patient, they still had other health related issues such as a stroke.
It can be very difficult as a patient or as a loved one of someone who is going through having misdiagnosis or continuous health problems. Having a strong support system can be very useful and beneficial in keeping spirits high.