Parkinsons Dementia is a severe effect of Parkinsons which can range from mild cognitive impairment to severe dementia. We hear a lot about both Parkinsons Disease and Dementias but who gets Parkinsons Dementia?
Currently only about 3% of the population develop Parkinsons disease. And about 90% of all diagnosed cases are in people over the age of 60 and risk of the more serious Parkinsons Dementia increases with each year after the age of 60 up until the age of 75 when it takes a sharp drop.
But here is the scary news they expect that number to double from 3% to 6% in the next few years. So what are the risk factors?
If youre a man you have a twice the risk of developing Parkinsons Dementia than women. Scientists think that it may be estrogen that women have in their bodies that protects them from the chemical changes that Parkinsons causes.
Studies have shown women that have a hysterectomy have a higher risk of developing Parkinsons while women on HRT have a lower risk. Both substantiate the belief that estrogen has something to do with it.
Men suffering from Parkinsons Dementia are more likely to have more serious symptoms that affect cognitive and motor skills including rigidity and tremor as well as shuffle, and gait disturbance, where as women deal mostly with shuffle, and gait disturbance.
Caucasians are at a much greater risk of developing Parkinsons Dementia than Asian Americans or African Americans. And people of European decent have twice the risk over other Caucasians.
The heredity link is still be researched but at present it seems that only a small percentage of Parkinsons have a family history of the disease. And in cases were Parkinsons was diagnosed at over the age of 60 there appeared to be no direct relationship with family. Of course there is more research to be conducted.
If you think cigarette smokers have a higher risk of Parkinsons Dementia you are wrong. Cigarette smokers actually have a reduced risk of developing Parkinsons disease.
Some research is exploring the possibility that nicotine provides some protection from Parkinsons. That said dont smoke for the benefits of Parkinsons reductions because the other health side effects are very serious.
Coffee, Tea, Or Me?
Never mind the old jingle, are you wondering whats better coffee or tea? Great news both because the caffeine has shown to protect against Parkinsons meaning if you drink lots of coffee or non herbal tea you have reduced risk of Parkinsons Dementia.
For some time now there has been a theory that aluminum may play a part in Parkinsons development. Its believed that aluminum becomes concentrated in the brain causing lesions. Initially it was thought to be absurd but today many more studies are investigating this theory, as it doesnt seem so absurd anymore.
To date we really dont know what the real causes of Parkinsons Dementia are so there isnt a do and dont list. What you can do is stay healthy by eating right and exercising which sure cant hurt and may even help reduce your risk.