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I often hear people say things like: "Why are there so many more people getting Parkinsons Disease now, than you ever heard about years ago? You never used to hear about Parkinsons Disease so much."
From my experience it does feel like the diagnosis is seen more often, but it is happening for at least three reasons.
• There is more awareness of the disease on the part of general practitioners and internal medicine professionals.
• We have an aging population that will start to demonstrate symptoms that look like Parkinsons Disease, by default – associated with changes in the brain.
• People are frequently misdiagnosed and told they have Parkinsons Disease, when they might have another condition that looks similar to it.
It is not really unusual for neurologists who specialize in Parkinsons Disease and the class of conditions called Movement Disorders, (which Parkinsons Disease is included in), to see patients that have been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease and be on placed on medication to treat it, and actually have Essential or Familial Tremor or one of the imitators of Parkinsons Disease.
One of the reasons this happens is that there still isn't an objective test that's readily available that separates the diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease from other conditions that are similar. That makes it a challenge for the physician who is doing the diagnosing, and because the condition changes and new features develop that may or may not be consistent with Parkinsons Disease, what starts out looking like Parkinsons Disease may evolve into another condition.
Knowing that, it is very important for you and your family to pay attention to what is happening to you. It is critically important to start a journal where you objectively write down physical changes, changes in personality, changes in thinking skills, and anything else you see. Take that information to the medical appointments you have. It will help your treatment team monitor treatment and make adjustments in medications.
Stay on top of any physical condition you have. Learn how to be your own ADVOCATE whether you are a patient or caregiver. Start your JOURNAL today! Join Sallycares.com. Send us a message at Contact Us and let us know if this helps you, and what you are interested in learning about. You are important to us!
Know that we are here to help you! xo Sally