Seniors and Parkinson's Disease

Photo Credit: Cardinal Institute for Health Careers

Did you know that Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is known as ‘an older person’s disease’? shares in the article, Parkinson’s Disease in the Elderly:

“Parkinson’s disease (PD) is known as an older person’s disease, as it is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 60 (only 5% of all cases are diagnosed before the age of 60). PD is the second most common age-related nerve degenerating disease after Alzheimer’s disease. The incidence of PD is 1% of the population over the age of 60, and this increases to 5% of the population over the age of 85, illustrating that aging is the biggest risk factor for developing PD.”[1]

Parkinson’s disease affects approximately 1.5 million Americans. The National Institute for Health has reported, “PD affects 50% more men than women” and the National Parkinson Foundation states, “approximately 60,000 new cases of PD are diagnosed each year.”[2]

Parkinson’s normally begins with:

· A slight hand tremor

· Slow movement

· Stiffness

· Loss of balance

· Frozen facial expressions

These symptoms can be easily confused with other age-related issues. Therefore, misdiagnosis can happen. However, these symptoms don’t automatically mean the individual has Parkinson’s either.

How is Parkinson’s diagnosed? According to the website, (a PD sufferer):

“There is no objective test (such as a blood test, brain scan or EEG) to make a definitive diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Instead, a doctor takes a careful medical history and performs a thorough neurological examination, looking in particular for two or more of the cardinal signs to be present. Frequently, the doctor will also look for responsiveness to Parkinson's disease