Five things I learned this past weekend about Parkinson’s Disease:
- Caffeine consumption appears to be protective against Parkinson’s disease. The more coffee you drink, the greater decrease in risk of PD.
Score for me! Pass the coffee pot, please!
- Sleep problems are a feature of the disease. My dad suffers from insomnia on a regular basis and –probably related — drowsiness in the daytime (he fell asleep constantly during lunch on Sunday — yet woke up enough to snitch my last bite of dessert when I left the table to refill my water glass).
- While I knew that dementia often accompanies PD in the later stages, I didn’t know until this week that a person with PD has two to six times the risk of dementia compared to the general population.
- Not too surprisingly, there are issues with mood difficulties in people who have PD, especially when the PD is combined with dementia. The top 3 mood difficulties are depression, apathy and anxiety. (My dad is often vexed in the middle of the night, so I am grateful that he can take anti-anxiety medication.) And seriously, wouldn’t you be depressed if you were dealing with PD?
- Some of Dad’s behavioral issues that the family has been made aware of recently might be related to the disease or his medications — or, I can continue to believe that with age and dementia, the filters fall away and behaviors & thoughts from earlier in life come back to roost. Nevermind the mixed metaphors, just guard your dessert plate, the kitchen counter, and the garbage can.