FAQ - Learn about PD
Are there other conditions that can resemble Parkinson’s disease?
There are a number of conditions that present some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s, but that do not respond in the same way to typical treatments. These diseases are referred to as Atypical Parkinsonisms, and are most likely to affect people in their 50s and 60s, although this can vary.
Many other conditions involving movement -based issues mimic Parkinson’s Disease. A patient therefore may show no signs of developing PD but will experience very similar symptoms. These conditions can be particularly challenging for non-specialists and can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis.
Can I get Parkinson’s Disease if I’m under 60?
Parkinson’s Disease isn't just seen in people of advanced age. While it does tend to affect people over age 60 more often, in about 5% to 10% of cases, "early onset" PD can begin in people as young as age 40. The progression of PD is different for everyone, however, those who develop it at earlier ages seem to have a more severe progression. Life expectancy for people with Parkinson's disease is about the same as the average population, but complications from the disease in the later stages can lead to fatal outcomes from choking,
If I have Parkinson’s disease, what kind of speech and voice problems may I
Everyone's Parkinson's experience is different, so it's hard to predict how your symptoms may progress. Parkinson's symptoms tend to appear gradually. The order they appear and the way they progress varies from person to person.
Some of the voice and speech difficulties that you may experience are:
Reduced volume to your voice.
Speaking in a monotone pitch
Having a hoarse or strained quality to your voice.
Breathiness in the quality of your voice that is easily heard by your listeners.
It takes more effort and energy to speak.
You feel like it is taking all of your energy to speak.
Trouble clearly and easily pronouncing letters and words.
Tremor in your voice.
Slurring of your speech.
LSVT LOUD is an effective speech treatment for people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurological conditions. Named for Mrs. Lee Silverman (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment), a woman living with PD, it was developed by Dr. Lorraine Ramig and has been scientifically studied for over 25 years with support from the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding organizations.
Find local LSVT Clinicians using this form
What are some tips to increase communication with others?
Some tips to improve communication include:
Choose a quiet, low-noise space. Turn off televisions, radios and other devices that create distracting background noise.
Use short phrases. Say one or two words or syllables per breath.
Plan periods of vocal rest before planned conversations or phone calls. Know that fatigue significantly affects your ability to speak. Techniques that work in
the morning might not work later in the day.
Keep your throat hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Don’t drink beverages containing caffeine or alcohol. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
Try to sit in an upright posture, with a straight chin, slightly lifted neck to improve airflow from lungs to your vocal cords.
If you are naturally soft spoken and your voice has become low or harder to hear for others, consider using an amplifier.
Where can I find Yoga and Exercise classes for Parkinson's near me?
Exercise is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living to those living with Parkinson’s Disease. Check out the local classes here. https://www.helpforpd.org/exercise-classes
Where can I find a Parkinson’s Support System in the Albany, NY area?
Find a local support group here - https://www.helpforpd.org/support-groups
Who is likely to get PD?
Parkinson’s disease affects both men and women. Currently, about 50% more men are affected than women.
Why is this? There are theories that estrogen may cause women to develop the disease less frequently, and when they do, they seem to get a milder case. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates about 50,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year in the U.S. However, this number may be higher due to the fact that many people in the early stages of PD
assume their symptoms are due to aging and do not seek medical attention. Complicating the diagnosis is that symptoms of Parkinson's resemble other diseases and there is no one definitive test to diagnose it.
Will my children get Parkinson's? Should I get them tested?
It has been said that accurate genetic diagnosis and treatment will occur along with increased knowledge of the genetic code. Many of you want to know the probability of passing PD along to your children and grandchildren. The vast majority of people with Parkinson’s do not have mutated genes and therefore do not pass them along.
Will supplements and vitamins cure or slow down Parkinson's Disease?
The ingestion of cocoanut oil, cinnamon, Omega-3 fish oil, pure oxygen, Vitamin C and E, Glutathione, CoQ-10, nicotinamide, riboflavin, acetlyl carnitine, lipoic acid, St. John’s Wort, Ginko Biloba, creatine, and Alkaline water, have not yet been shown in scientific, peer-reviewed studies to be beneficial to Parkinson’s patients.