Information on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

It is likened to a long goodbye. Family and friend witness the mental faculties of their loved ones slowly slipping away. Alzheimer's is an irreversible form of Dementia. Dementia is the loss of intellectual and social abilities severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. More than 4 million American's have Alzheimer's. This figure is expected to triple in the next twenty years as more people are living into their 80's and 90's.

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's

The first sign might be mild forgetfulness, trouble finding the right word, or difficulty with bills and the checkbook. The disease progresses to affect language, reasoning, understanding, reading or writing. In its progression, it may cause anxiety or aggression and wandering away from home. The disease progresses differently from person to person, and in the early stages is more difficult to detect.

Treatment of Alzheimer's

There are no cures for Alzheimer's Disease, but there is reason to hope! Some drugs have been known to temporarily improve mental abilities in mild Alzheimer's cases. Researchers have also discovered many genes associated with this disease. As progress continues, a greater understanding may lead to treatments to block Alzheimer's progress.

Support for Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County, Inc. has both large and small monthly support groups. We encourage both patient and caregiver to be involved and share with us in our daily experiences. We are informed and current on the latest technological advancements and treatments for this disease. Our meetings are informative and often feature speakers from Indian River's medical and professional communities.

Visit our Links Page for more information about Alzheimer's Disease. If you would like to find out more how we can help you or your loved one live with Alzheimer's Disease, be sure to take a look at our Services, or feel free to Contact Us.

What is Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is both chronic and progressive, meaning its symptoms grow worse and last over time. Some of the common symptoms of Parkinsonís are tremor of the hands, arms, legs or jaw; rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia or slowness of movement; and postural instability or impaired balance and coordination.

What causes Parkinson's Disease

As is the case with many neurological disorders, the cause of Parkinsonís disease is not known. However, scientists and researchers are working diligently to uncover the possible cause(s), including genetics and environmental factors, of Parkinsonís disease.

How is Parkinson's Disease diagnosed?

There is no standard test to conclusively show if a person has Parkinsonís disease. Because of this, it can often be difficult to diagnose. However, a skilled neurologist is able to accurately diagnose PD. Physicians rely on a neurological examination and the patientís descriptions of symptoms to determine whether he or she has Parkinsonís. A neurologist may order several tests to rule out other conditions before diagnosing a person with Parkinsonís disease.

How do you treat Parkinson's Disease?

There is currently no known cure for Parkinsonís. Physicians treat PD with medications that treat the symptoms of the disease. Levodopa is the most widely prescribed Parkinsonís medication, and people often take several other medications to manage the disease. Surgical options, such as deep brain stimulation, may help alleviate a personís PD symptoms if and when they stop responding favorably to medication. However, surgery is only effective for a small group of people with Parkinsonís and is only recommended if a patient meets specific criteria.

The Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County provides physical classes, such as dancing and boxing, to help overcome the everyday burden of living with a movement disorder such as Parkinson's.

Visit our Links Page for more information about Parkinson's Disease. If you would like to find out more how we can help you or your loved one live with Parkinson's Disease, be sure to take a look at our Services, or feel free to Contact Us.

Would You Like to Help?

Become a Volunteer

Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County, Inc. is always seeking volunteers. Click here for our online application.

Make a Donation

Donors continue to provide strong financial support to ensure that the Alzheimer's Parkinson Association of Indian River County reaches its goal of a world without Alzheimer's disease. You may make a tax deductible charitable donation Here!