Symptoms of Advanced Parkinson’s Disease:
Though primarily a movement disorder, advanced PD is now considered a multi-organ disease with involvement, not only limited to movements but also the following
Swallowing: These patients have difficulty in swallowing. The motor impairment of the muscles in the throat not only impairs swallowing but also poses a risk for aspiration pneumonia.
Cognitive and mood disorders: Thirty-forty percent of patients develop change in the mood and behavior. They also develop decreasing memory and confusion. Some of these symptoms are attributable to increased medications and altering medical treatment can benefit them. Some of them can be due to much wider degeneration of brain cells affecting neurotransmitters other than dopamine also. Depression is one of the most common symptom and can be effectively controlled by medication. Another worrisome symptom is hallucination. Hallucination mostly is due to the side effects of prolonged dopamine treatment. Drugs like Quitipine can be used to control hallucinations. Hallucinations can also be controlled by decreasing dopaminergic drugs.
Sleep disorders: People with PD often have sleep problems like waking up frequently throughout the night, waking up early or falling asleep during the day. People also experiences rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder that involves acting out your dreams. Medications may help in controlling sleep disorders.
Urinary problems: Patients develop difficulty in passing urine, increased frequency of urination and retention of urine. These problems are common and may result in urinary tract infection. It is also noted that the PD symptoms worsens when there is concomitant infection and hence this should be treated on emergency basis. The help from an urologist may prove useful.