Does Parkinson's cause pain, or affect mental abilities?

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Mom just diagnosed with PD. Seems to be more forget (is 84), and c/o pain in upper legs. Checked out, no blood clots.

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Many people with PD maintain their intelligence. Look at Michael J. Fox. To me he seems as intelligent as he ever was. He just has the movement disorder. There can be profound memory loss and dementia that goes with PD, however. I do not know what percentage of people get these effects or how long it takes (how deep into the disease). Thinking about this made me realize how little I actually understand about the disease.
Certainly not everyone who has Parkinson's will develop dementia. Having PD does not confer any immunity to dementia and a person with PD could develop any kind of dementia if the circumstances are right, just like anyone else. There is a specific kind of dementia closely associated with PD, called Parkinson's Disease with Dementia (PDD). If the same disease manifests itself with the dementia first and the Parkinson symptoms later it is called Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Together these two kinds of dementia are called Lewy Body Dementia. They both involve unnatural deposits ("bodies") of protein in the brain, first identified by Frederick Lewy in the autopsies of PD patients.

I think you would do well to learn the symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia so you would recognize them early in your mother. LBD responds better to treatment than many other kinds of dementia and it is valuable to start treatment early. Her neurologist can probably give you some literature. Another awesome source in the Lewy Body Dementia Association website.

I'm not trying to suggest that you worry trouble by looking too far ahead. Your mom may never develop any kind of dementia. I just suggest it can be useful to know what to look for.

Best wishes to you and to your mom.

Jeanne, I never knew the connection between Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia. I read a bit about it at the LBD site. Thank you for writing this. I had thought them two separate diseases.
I forgot to add that I read on the site that memory loss is not as it would be in a dementia such as Alz, that there are other symptoms, e.g. confusion and visual hallucinations. Jeanne, I know you know a lot more about LBD than most of us. In the little that I read I learned many new things.
My Mother was Diagnosed with PD two years ago although I think they missed it a year even earlier. She had many of the symptoms prior to her diagnosis. Now along with the PD she has Dementia but not LBD this was ruled out. She tends to forget silly things and at times becomes frustrated. She was placed on a low dose of a memory medication that will not affect the PD medication. Her Neurologist has explained to me that PD and Dementia go hand in hand and that a huge percentage of patients who have PD will get some form of Dementia if not treated early enough. My Mother moved in with my Husband, Children and I over two years ago and thankfully I had experience with the Disease to notice her symptoms had become worse. At the time she was on a medication for PD that was fighting another medicine for her bladder she was on. The two medications were killing or eating her brain away. Thankfully I was able to get her Medical help quickly or My Mom would not be wtih us today. So whatever medications your loved one is on make CERTAIN it will go well with the PD medication. I never realized how difficult it would be taking care of 3 small children and my Mom who is fighting this horrible disease. Her confusion, frustration and 'tantrum' type behaviors get hard at times but I would not have it any other way. I love her and only want the best for her. My children all understand she is fighting a nasty Disease that may make her forget, get upset or talk 'silly' sometimes and sure they get frustrated at times as well but together we do what we can for her. Thank you all for the wonderful posts here. It is so helpful knowing I'm no longer alone in this quest to keep my Mom happy, and alive.

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