Parkinson Disease Dementia (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
How Is Parkinson's Disease Dementia Diagnosed?
There is no definitive medical test that confirms cognitive decline or dementia in Parkinson's disease. The most accurate way to measure cognitive decline is through neuropsychological testing.
Imaging studies: Generally, brain scans such as CT scan and MRI are of little use in diagnosing dementia in people with Parkinson's disease. Positron emission tomographic (PET) scan may help distinguish dementia from depression and similar conditions in Parkinson's disease.
What Is the Treatment for Parkinson's Disease Dementia?
There is no cure for dementia in Parkinson's disease. Rather, the focus is on treating specific symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and psychotic behavior. A specialist in these disorders (psychiatrist) may be consulted for treatment recommendations.
What Is the Self-Care at Home for Parkinson's Disease Dementia?
Protein in the diet may affect the absorption of levodopa, the major medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. Fluctuations in the level of levodopa may worsen some behavioral and cognitive symptoms. A low-protein diet may reduce fluctuations in dopamine levels. In some patients with these fluctuations, dietary changes can improve symptoms. However, it is important to ensure that the person is getting adequate calories and other nutrients.
People with Parkinson's disease should remain as active as possible. Physical therapy helps the person maintain mobility.
In general, people with Parkinson's disease plus dementia should no longer drive vehicles. Movement problems may prevent quick reactions in hazardous driving situations. Certain medications, especially those given to treat symptoms of dementia, may make them less alert. However, this should be determined on an individual basis and in compliance with the laws of the state.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/8/2016
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