Auto-immune and shingles


#1
There has been a lot in the press about the link between parkinsons and the immune system going haywire.
My first sign of parkinsons was shortly after an attack of shingles - the herpes zoster virus which hides in the nervous system.
Had any other people (particularly early onset) an attack of shingles before signs of parkinsons, and if so how soon?
Just curious to see if there might be a possible connection in some cases.

#2
Take into account that shingles is relatively common among the older population.....

#3
Hi Turnip,
Quite interested in the Shingles connection with P.D. I had an attack about 7/8 weeks after diagnosis. As you say , the virus lies dormant for years and then suddenly you're into a full blown attack.
I have to say , it was extremely unpleasant and very painful. I was off work for 3 weeks and my Dr. told me to rest as much as I could, as having another chronic condition made me more susceptible to it coming again.
Anyway , recovered fine, but definitely don't want that again ! Best wishes.

#4
hi kate
indeed, which is why i asked about early onset in particular. but you are right in thinking that it is a silly to try and conduct a survey through a forum. i am just interested in whether there is some anecdotal evidence of a connection, particularly for early onset. i did come across an oncologist who had several patients develop shingles followed by parkinsons (the shingles being brought on by anti-cancer drugs).

#5
Hi Turnip, I do believe that a survey on a very large scale of forum members(preferably from several international fora) would throw up some very interesting data.someone has started something in this vein by collecting comprehensive information via questionnaires sent to PD patients worldwide. With computers it should be easy to show tendencies, patterns.
I remember the question being put forward what members of a support group thought was the cause of their PD. Several mentioned a (major) operation some months before first symptoms .

#6
Yes.John had his first and only dose of shingles about a year before the Parkinson's really showed itself.

#7
Hi Kate.
I didn't know about the questionnaires - it would be very interesting to see the results. The forums (i have a bias towards english plurals!) seem to be a bit of an un-tapped resource.
i wonder if major operations could trigger an immune response?
in my naive view, (the subect is much more complex than i could ever grasp, and that isnt false humility) i have assumed that a long term degenerative disease (PD, MS, AD) is probably the result of the immune system misbehaving. if it was purely environmental it would stop when the toxin was removed? but once the immune system was triggered (by a large number of possible triggers - infections, toxins, stressfull events) it would carry on in a rogue fashion until the job was done, a bit like a robot gone haywire in a sci-film, killing the crew instead of putting the rubbish out.
i have no evidence for any of this of course, but i have an irrational fondness for it as a theory. i suppose we all would like to identify the cause of our own disease, but it probably doesnt make any difference.

lorna and ecd - thanks for the replies, interesting!

#8
Hi Turnip, Auto-immune diseases are, of course, on the increase.....(or better recognised?)

#9
Yes, its the fashionable disease cause. The list of auto-immune diseases in wikipedia is surprisingly long , and getting longer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_autoimmune_diseases) - for example, I didn't know diabetes type one was a suspect or schizophrenia. It would be interesting to know the occurrence of psoriasis or other immune problems in the PD population. Perhaps one day PD will be on the list. If so, it might be unfortunate - auto-immune diseases seem hard to treat.

#10
Hi everyone,

On Monday I asked a neurology registrar (five appointments now and I still haven't seen "my consultant") a direct question: "Is Parkinson's an auto-immune condition?" His answer was "no". My reply was: "Isn't the jury still out on this?" He again said "no". That was the end of that discussion but I'm still not convinced.

#11
Hi Jeanine
I think the headline at the homepage of this site shows that he was a bit tooooo definite!
Its terrible that you havent seen a grown-up yet.
cheers

#12
Interested in the immune disease discussion . Since my husband has been diagnosed with Parkinsons he has also developed Bullous Penthagoid . It has been ongoing for a few years and he was told that it shou;d burn itself out . It does seem to be going that way thank goodness . All his life he has suffered with Psoriasis , or at least thats what we thought it was .