Information please


I'm studying to be a nurse and have project on Parkinson’s to do. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in answering some questions for me. I would be grateful for any help.

Some questions I have are if PD affects people intellectually?
Some social effects and what services are out there to help people with Parkinson's.


Personally I would say that Parkinsons affected me in a way that if I have a lot of information coming into my brain at the same time I am unable to cope with it and my brain seems to go into overload and shuts down , I can only deal with one thing at a time and then it has be done slowly. I only joined the forum a few days ago and it made me realise that I am not alone !
Hope this makes sense !

Good luck with your project !

Hi Clair.

The important thing to remember about Parkinson's, despite its name, is that it's NOT a disease it's a syndrome. You can't catch it, or infect others with it.

Due to the "disease" tag I think a lot of people shy away from sufferers, as they don't understand it. And it's not a fashionable cause; you never see celebrity quiz contestants on TV trying to win money for PD, it's always Great Ormond Street, Cancer Research or the British Heart Foundation.

The syndrome is caused, as you know, by the loss of one's natural supply of dopamine, and the effects of this are different in every single patient. There are dozens of possible symptoms, and each sufferer will experience one or more of these, in varying degrees and combinations. So the medics have to tailor the medication very much to the individual patient.

Then there are dozens of different drugs available to the neurologist, and as before every single person will react to each drug differently. Some will also suffer negative side effects - again different for every patient and every drug.

Some of the symptoms which scare the public and make them veer away are the unmoving, blank faced stare caused by temporary loss of control of the facial muscles, the uncontrollable shaking and twitching of limbs and head, and the stooping, shuffling gait.

All of these give the impression that the patient is some kind of simpleton with whom it is impossible to communicate, and who might lash out at any moment. However behind the mask the brain is probably working perfectly, and the patient is perfectly capable of normal mental agility.

On the other hand, when all is calm and relaxed I find my own brain in general now works more slowly and methodically than it used to, and, as others have said, more than one thought process at a time is IMPOSSIBLE.

If I were to walk into the kitchen to tell my wife something I'd just seen on TV, for example, but before I could speak she asked me my plans for tomorrow, If I were to allow myself to be diverted onto HER subject matter I absolutely GUARANTEE, 100% of the time, that I then wouldn't be able to remember the topic I came into the kitchen to talk about.

However my intellectual and thought process are, if anything, sharper than ever now, provided I'm not distracted. I'm currently writing a book and a couple of magazine articles, and I spend much more time than I used to contemplating things like religion, Darwinism, psychology, the origin of the universe, how pigeons find there way home, everything!

Well that's my rambling complete for now; once I've started I'm hard to stop! I hope you can pick something useful out of that lot.