February 1, 2011

This Week's Research Report: Parkinson's and Dementia - Part 1

A week or more ago, Bert posted a reply comment asking for information about the link between Parkinson's Disease and dementia. I had just started researching this last week when the power went out. (See the "My PD Week" posting below.)

Dementia is a major concern for most of us with PD (and for most who are aging regardless of whether they have PD). With last week's power outage, I wasn't able to give this the full research effort it deserves. So I'll have more to report on this next week.

But for now, here's what my preliminary research shows on the issue of the prevalence of dementia among those diagnosed with PD:

  •  Most estimates are that  perhaps as many as  50% of those diagnosed with PD show some signs of cognitive impairment.
  • And as many as 20 to 40% may have more severe impairment or dementia.
This seems discouraging.  But  I've seen other studies that suggest these figures are either inflated or misinterpreted as suggesting a cause-effect (i.e that. Parkinson's causes these results)  when actually most of this is age-related, not Parkinson's-related.

But I want to take a closer look at this.  And I also want to research the important topic of actions we can take to prevent or delay the onset of dementia, regardless of whether it's due to aging or Parkinson's.

Stay tuned.. Back next week.

    1 comment:

    Hans Drucker said...

    Thanks for this response to my request. This is an example of what we aging people with Parkinson's struggle with all the time. Is what's happening caused by my Parkinson's or is it just another sign that I'm getting older. Looking foward to hearing from you next week, particularly if you come up with ideas for heading off dementia.