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Parkinson's diagnosis at 64

(14 Posts)
Rotolla Fri 11-Oct-19 22:42:29

My dad has always been a big, tall athletic man. Still can run a few miles, goes to the gym, walks distances and plays racquet sport. He’s aged suddenly though recently in around 6-12 months. Less weight, slight stoop, weaker. A tremor in his arm, initially thought to be a trapped nerve. He fell in the summer one day really hard on a doorstep, no catching himself. Fit enough to get up fast and be ok. His handwriting is smaller and he does have a bit of the serious look. A lot maybe not surprising for his age, but for a man to be so fit it’s been very noticeable the difference in the last year. Gone from multiple push ups with grandkids on his back to not being able to hold a plank.

Today he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it does add up. It’s a shock, the consultant seemed super positive talking if age and drugs but does anyone have experience that is similar, it some ways to me it seems so rapid a change it’s rather scary. He can’t fully extend the arm with the tremor I realised, it’s quite pronounced and his grip is obviously poor.

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Costacoffeeplease Fri 11-Oct-19 23:11:03

My dad was diagnosed at 56, had also always been fit and healthy, ex fireman and ran for his county as a teenager

He started with the typical left hand tremor, and slowly progressed to finding walking and swallowing difficult, then he virtually lost his voice

He died almost 3 years ago at 76 following a stroke, after years of different drugs and DBS surgery. I would say his quality of life remained pretty good up until the last 18-24 months.

It’s a bastard of a diseaseflowers

Rotolla Fri 11-Oct-19 23:23:56

Thank you for sharing your personal story. Can I ask if the length of time it progressed was typical? Was it just a physical illness. My dad it’s his right hand which is already irritating for writing and day to day use as he’s got a very strong hand preference.

Really appreciate your time replying x

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Natsel84 Fri 11-Oct-19 23:34:54

Hi my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's just before he turned 50 . Hes turning 68 next week.

He has his good days and bad more bad than good now. He still gets about around the house with the help of a Walker. But if he goes out hes in a wheelchair.
I dont think you can really compare one person to another as everyone is different. My dads writing is bad now. His went small as well . Its classed as spider writing I believe. He falls alot and also sadly due to medication has hallucinations
Please dont Google to much about it as it will upset you.
Have a look at parkinsons UK. That's a good place to start and do support groups etc.

Wishing you and your dad all the best. Please PM if you need to chat x

Abibranning Fri 11-Oct-19 23:50:23

My DF was diagnosed 8 years ago, he's now very unwell, and only sleeps and eats, he has carers to come in and is in a wheelchair. But for a few years he was fine just symptoms that were well managed by his meds, they really made a difference. There is a current campaign to help people understand that unlike most meds there's a bit of flexibility when you take them, with Parkinsons there is no flex and meds should be taken on time, every time. I am sorry that anyone has this hideous cruel disease. flowers

Abibranning Sat 12-Oct-19 00:19:07

And sorry, practicalities ensure you get Lasting Power of Attorney in place hopefully you'll never need it but, my DM didn't go for it until my DF was too ill and we now have the fun of having to fight with Social services on what's best for him, rather than just doing what we know he would want.

Costacoffeeplease Sat 12-Oct-19 08:21:29

I think everyone’s path is different, I know a man in his 50s, who was diagnosed about 5 or 6 years ago and he is now almost at the stage my dad was when he died

Parkinson’s covers a lot of different symptoms from tremor to rigidity, my dad had the rigidity type, many times he could walk into a cafe, but then not be able to walk back out again. He also had side effects from medication but they were physical where he had tics like rolling one shoulder (dyskinesia)

Strangely, he could always manage stairs, but had trouble with walking along flat surfaces, it helped to pretend he was going upstairs

Rotolla Sat 12-Oct-19 11:42:10

My dad still has a very senior role in a red brick university- I can’t imagine any chats about POA would go down well. He’s very relived the cognitive tests were fine.

He does have the rigidity and tremor quite pronounced in his right arm.

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Abibranning Sat 12-Oct-19 14:20:46

Each person definitely goes along their own path with this, my Dad had barely any symptoms for a long time. Never bad shakes (he's passed that stage now). He suffered with anxiety, depression all through. LPA only kicks in when you are incapable. We've now got them in place for the whole family, my brother's only just turned 30. I will never be sat in a room with social services telling me they will put my Dad in a home of their choice, we fought it but it was hard and they got their way for 8weeks. The other thing is take every opportunity they offer. My Dad had speech therapy and physiotherapy and although it's not helping now, at the time it did.

minesadecaf Sat 12-Oct-19 20:02:24

My dad was diagnosed a year ago age 75. He also has a benign brain tumour which is being operated on next month. As yet he's not on any Parkinson's drugs but I believe he will be soon as his shakes are getting much worse and his cognition is declining.

LeGrandBleu Sat 12-Oct-19 22:19:17

There is a lot of recent literature on Parkinson's disease and gut bacteria

There are some dietary interventions that can make things worse or better :
The role of diet and nutritional supplements in the management of PD has also been studied. Mischley et al18 conducted a cross-sectional analysis study conducted in 1053 patients, which concluded that foods associated with a reduction in the progression of PD include fresh (uncanned or non-frozen) vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, non-fried fish, olive oil, coconut oil, and spices (P < 0.05). Supplements enacting a similar reduction in PD progression included CoQ10 and fish oil (P < 0.05). Foods associated with the worsening of PD (P < 0.05) included canned fruits and vegetables, diet and non-diet soda, fried foods, beef, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese. Similarly, iron supplementation was associated with a faster progression of PD (P < 0.05).18 Polyphenols and flavonoids have been studied in a wide range of in vitro and in vivo models of neurological diseases. These nutrients, found in plants and microbes, have showcased a neuroprotective role in PD.19 Another prospective study in Sweden was conducted by Yang et al20 in 2 population-based cohorts (38 937 women and 45 837 men) to understand dietary antioxidants and the risk of PD. During a 14.9 year follow-up, 1329 PD cases were identified. The intake of vitamin E and beta-carotene was associated with a lower risk of PD in the identified patients.20
From this paper . Make sure to read all the article and the clinical trial about PD and Fecal transplant being currently done.

There is a roughly 10 year gap between medical research and changes in protocol and guidelines, so you might want to familiarise yourself with pubmed.
Dietary intervention is highly recommended with no side effect . Talking about real food (walnuts, berries, ...) not pills.

When reading medical papers it is a bit like dominos, one study's footnote will lead you to another study or to the similar articles suggestions on the side bar.

I would try to consult a dietician. No harm can come from giving the latest literature a go.

I don't have PD but a genetic neurologic disorder that puts me at risk of cancer in addition to tumours on nerves and when doing my research for my condition, I keep reading about gut bacteria and neurologic disorders, including PD and thought I might share.

Rotolla Sat 12-Oct-19 22:44:54

My dad was offered drugs straight away with a ‘try these, if they work it confirms it’

Thank you for the links re diet. I will look into them in detail. I must say he’s never eaten fried foods/ sodas or canned fruit. His diet is high in veg, spices and fruit. Likes stuff like veg curries. Never been even overweight, he’s muscular but lean with a broad shoulder and well over 6ft. 32/ 33 waist nowadays (I know from Xmas shopping for presents).

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minesadecaf Sun 13-Oct-19 06:03:26

@Rotolla that's interesting as conversely my dad was told to hold off them until you really need them as they're so toxic.

Rotolla Sun 13-Oct-19 14:31:11

That’s a bit worrying...!

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