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What is slow progression...


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#1 debiant

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:53 PM

I was diagnosed about four months ago at the age of 30, with an approximately three year progression before hand. What I first noticed that bothered me, was the bradykinesia. My movements became painfully slow. My speech also became slow, monotone, and a bit confused (though my dad suspected something wrong for some time due to my speech patters which seem to mimic his own). My father has PD, but his is primarily gait & rigidity, while mine is primarily bradykinesia & tremor. My right arm stopped swinging naturally. Stiffness in neck and shoulders primarily, but not much rigidity to speak of. The tremor has been present for some time, starting on my right, and recently appearing on my left side. I started noticing the symptoms more consciously about two months prior to my initial movement specialist appointment. I was diagnosed that day. I have had several people question me about the diagnosis, because they've read that PD is very gradual, but I guess I'm not sure what the definition of gradual means exactly, in the context of PD symptoms. Obviously with idiopathic PD, I will still be able to walk and talk for some time, but is it normal for symptoms to increase rapidly in a six month period of time?

It seems like the progression has been fairly rapid in the past six months. My movement disorder specialist said this could be normal, and it has to do with something he referred to as the threshold. I thought the threshold was when you first exhibited symptoms. I really like my doctor, but his command of the English language is sometimes sketchy. Is it normal in YOPD for symptoms to worsen quickly at some point, and then taper off and become more gradual? This is something I've not found while researching online. I'm now taking 1.5 mg Mirapex ER, and it seems to keep the symptoms at a very manageable level. I've only had one pretty severe bout of breakthrough symptoms, but they didn't last very long.

Thank you for taking the time to answer.

#2 Dr. Okun

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:26 AM

How progression proceeds can be variable patient to patient. One mistake that is often made is not treating depression and anxiety which often co-occur with PD. Also, another mistake is not adding stretching and exercise to the daily routine. I suspect you are not progressing as rapidly as you think, and that with optimal treatment and a good plan you will do great. I would advise regular visits to your PD doc and you may want to use the free 1800 PD Helpline.

I hope that helps and hang in there!

Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips


#3 gavin

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:31 AM

I can attest first-hand to vast changes in the progression of PD symptoms. In short, my first two years were slow in their progression. Year three was terrible. I felt like I had aged 15 years over about a 9-month period. I felt so poorly that I thought I would be incapable of any sort of meaningful employment if that downhill pace continued for another year or so. After several doctor visits, adding meds, and requesting and being granted a lighter workload going forward, among other smaller changes, my slide finally came to a halt. In fact, now about 6 months later, I have improved almost back to my year two level. I actually don't even know what to most attribute my reversal to. The same way that a downward spiral can take hold, an upward spiral can be built on successfully addressing one or two important factors; in my case, I beleive it was reducing stress and giving in to using a sleep aid. Those two things seemed to set my body back into motion so that I could then also address diet, exercise, and many other things in life that made me happy, like connecting so much better with my family.

Better still, some of the meds I used to get me out of my deep rut are no longer needed. I wish I could better explain my turnaround. No matter the answers, it is very clear to me that PD does not only move in one direction. While I completely understand the long-term trend, please do not concede that your pace will continue quickly. Keep searching for solutions and be open to treatments of all types. Please remember my experience and believe that you will have periods of improvement, sometimes life-altering, along the journey. There seems to be an infinite number of suggestions from people who have benefitted from something or another. Your answers are out there too, waiting for you to find them.

#4 Dr. Okun

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

Thank you for the wonderful comment.

We have heard about these turn-arounds from many patients.

Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips


#5 Luthersfaith

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:34 PM

This is very interesting... got to keep hope alive and well in our hearts, minds and bodies.

Thanks for this thread.
"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world." - Jesus (John 16:33)

#6 Dr. Okun

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:23 AM

Thanks

Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Author of the Amazon Bestseller Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
National Medical Director | NPF
UF Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration
Read More about Dr. Okun at: http://movementdisor...hael-s-okun-md/
or Visit Parkinson's Disease treatment and research blogs at:
NPF's What's Hot in Parkinson's disease
or his parkinsonsecrets.com blog for treatment tips





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