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My partner is early on Alzheimer but is diagnosed with Parkinson. His shaking is horrible and he is dizzy always and it is awful.

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Back to JT...keeping them active is the best thing. APDA says activity is 50% of treatment for PD.
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I applaud JTs answer...what loving care! Unfortunately I am the only caregiver for my husband with PD for 25 years (DBS for 15). The DBS has been a miracle for him but while diagnosed at 50, he is now 75. Up until 3 years ago he was playing golf (maybe slow but could beat me!)
Reason I'm writing is just saw Neurologist today. Several things...he has a U-Step walker which is a God-send as it's so much more stable than most but because of PD he pushes it against the brakes until falling. He also takes Carbo-levo 50/200 ER about 5x/day. A long time ago a Neuro told me they know when they need medication and to abide by their feelings..really hard time when in hospital....they DO NOT understand need, timing, or frequency.
He is now exhibiting some dementia....Smartest man I've ever known (& grad. engineer) now has problems operating TV remote. A computer pioneer cannot understand how to access programs. At 3AM thinks it's afternoon. Yet he can mentor a young man's business and has made it grow 50% over the last year!
I asked DR re: Lewy bodies and he said NO...Lewy bodies come on much sooner in PD...not after 25 years...but dementia does occur.
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my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Frontal-Temporal-Dementia (FTD) 6 years ago. Last year, she was re-diagnosed as having FTD with Parkinsonism. She also has high blood pressure, diabetics, and irregular heartbeats. She is confirmed with having depression and OCD before being diagnosed with FTD. The doctor told us that giving her drugs on Parkinson in addition to what she already been taken now may have negative impact on her. With her dementia condition, a shaking hand is the least of our worry. Make sure you double check with your doctor to confirm whether the Parkinson is caused by Dementia or Dementia caused Parkinsonism.
We do try to find ways to slow down her Parkinson condition. We take her for at least an hour walk a day. We make sure she stands up every half and hour. We do exercise (stretching hands and legs) with her every 2 hours. We rub her foot with vaseline and conduct foot massage every night. (This can be difficult because of minor pain and we need to skip it whenever she screams). We massage her arms whenever we sit and talk to her. I do not know whether all these efforts help but she can still pick up chopsticks although her hands shakes crazily. We encourage her to eat on her own and clean up the mess later.
Bear in mind all these takes time and very often there are resistance from the patient. As caregiver, we need to have a lot of patience and keep on reminding ourselves that the patient does not purposely make our job more difficult. Of course, frustration will kick in sometimes. Make sure you can find a way to release your frustration. My way is to open up a hymn book and sing a song.
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Husband was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's. When he died about 7 years after diagnosis, I had an autopsy done. It stated ' Findings were consistent with Parkinson's disease with features of Alzheimer's dementia'. So..... not quite sure what that means.
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Dear Oregongirl,

There is one disease (named "LBD" for Lewy Body Dementia) which can combine the following :
- LBD and Alzheimer,
- LBD and Parkinson,
- LBA and Alzheimer & Parkinson.

A neurologist will ask many questions in order to find out what is going on.

It is important to get the proper diagnosis as the treatment can be very different from one disease to the other and even be harmfull if not the right one.

Kind regards.
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His doctor should've prescribed carbidopa/levodopa for the shakes and other Parkinson's symptoms. My mother was diagnosed with PD last year and this drug was like a miracle and continues to be so. She has dementia but it is not Alzheimer's and is from the PD. It's different than Alz. She is still aware and knows her mind is getting worse, just not the degree to which it is declining. My sister also has PD and I have noticed a slight decline in her mental function. My mom is 90 and my sister is only 60.
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As the above, Parkinson's has a dementia, but not till later. make sure there isn't anything else going on medically.
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If your partner is motivated to try improving his condition, he should consider the ketogenic diet.

"There is evidence from uncontrolled clinical trials and studies in animal models that the ketogenic diet can provide symptomatic and disease-modifying activity in a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and may also be protective in traumatic brain injury and stroke." Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367001/

The ketogenic diet is high fat, low carb, and moderate (meaning on the low side) protein. You can find a lot of information about it on YouTube and other web sources. Hopefully you can find a health care provider who can think outside the box Big Pharma puts most of them in.
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Parkinson's disease involves not enough dopamine, dementia is hypothesized to center on amyloid plagues with tangled bundles of nerves (or so it is currently thought). Yes, both are horrible diseases.
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The following link may help:

http://www.ftdtalk.org/ftd-factsheets/factsheet-8-what-is-ftd-with-parkinsonism/
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Agree with Pam. However, it is just not late stages of Parkinson's that has cognitive impairment. Most recent research is showing that mild cognition dysfunction is evident in middle and even early stages of Parkinson's.
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Parkinson's has dementia in later stages, but it is not the same a Alzheimer's. It's important for the MD to properly diagnose which problem is present, because drugs that work for one are bad for the other.
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