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Facts About Being 10 Years Post-Diagnosis

Posted Jan 30 2010 10:49am

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Some items of note that seem appropriate for my 10-year anniversary as a person with Parkinson’s disease.

1.  Ten years after diagnosis, those with PD are 20 times more likely to experience a hip fracture compared to age- and sex-matched control groups.

2.  Regarding Parkinson’s disease dementia:  The dementia usually begins about ten years after diagnosis.”

3.  Regarding balance issues:  ”Hoehn and Yahr were careful to point out that the stages were a general guide and that there will always be exceptions. They identified the impairment of the righting reflex (Stage III) as the point at which the disease became disabling. They found that, after five years, 25% of the people they studied had balance difficulties, had progressed further still or had died. From five to ten years, the proportion increased to around 63% and by 10 to 14 years that percentage became 80%.

4.  MORE cheery news!  “About one-third of Parkinson’s disease sufferers eventually show signs of dementia. The disease lasts an average ten years and ultimately results in death usually by an infection or aspiration pneumonia.”

5.  And MORE!  “One percent of persons over age 50 have Parkinson’s disease, and two-thirds become severely disabled within the first ten years of the illness. ”

6.  “According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, in the early years symptoms can be barely noticeable. Even if they are, medication can be very effective at keeping them under control and preventing them from interfering with a person’s day to day activities. Unfortunately, the effects will worsen each year, and in five to ten years they usually get to a point where daily life is disrupted — even with medication.”

7.  “Thus, while these treatments generally provide excellent results for 2-5 years, quality of life for Parkinson’s disease patients becomes increasingly poor 5-10 years after diagnosis. Symptoms that become increasingly problematic with disease progression include inconsistencies in motor control (response fluctuations), gait and balance abnormalities, cognitive loss, hypophonia and dysphagia.”

I guess that’s why I’m in such a cheerful mood today.

At least there’s CAKE!

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