Parkinson’s disease symptoms, falls reduced by common dementia drug and simple home remedies

By: Emily Lunardo | Parkinsons | Thursday, March 31, 2016 - 12:30 PM

Parkinson’s disease symptomsParkinson’s disease symptoms and falls can be reduced by common dementia drug along with simple home remedies. Researchers have found that a common dementia drug may help prevent debilitating falls in Parkinson’s disease. The findings showed that Parkinson’s disease patients who were given the oral drug rivastigmine were 45 percent less likely to fall and were steadier when walking, compared to individuals who received a placebo.

At least 70 percent of Parkinson’s disease patients will experience a fall at least once a year and many patients will suffer from recurrent falls, which result in fractures, broken bones, and hospital visits.

Researcher Dr. Emily Henderson said, “”With the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells, people with Parkinson’s often have issues with unsteadiness when walking. As part of the condition, they also have lower levels of acetylcholine, a chemical which helps us to concentrate – making it extremely difficult to pay attention to walking… We already know that rivastigmine works to treat dementia by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, however, our study shows for the first time that it can also improve regularity of walking, speed, and balance. This is a real breakthrough in reducing the risk of falls for people with Parkinson’s.”

The researchers studied 130 Parkinson’s patients who had fallen in the past year. Half of them were given rivastigmine and the other half received a placebo.

“People affected by Parkinson’s, their carers, and health and social care professionals have said that preventing falls and improving balance is the biggest unmet need for people living with the condition, other than finding a cure,” explained Dr. Arthur Roach.

“This trial shows that there may be drugs already available, being used for other purposes, that can be tested to help treat Parkinson’s. This takes us a step closer to improving the quality of life and finding better treatments for people with Parkinson’s,” he concluded.

Relieving Parkinson’s disease symptoms by following simple home remedies

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative progressive disorder, meaning it can get worse over time. Symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease can be debilitating and make daily activities quite challenging. Here are some simple home remedies to improve symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease.

Stretching for muscle stiffness: Face a wall at least eight inches away and reach your arms upwards. Place your hands on the wall for balance and stretch out your arms and back.

Place your back against the wall for support and march on the spot with knees as high as possible.

Sit on a chair, straight back, stretch your arms behind the chair, and bring your shoulders back as much as possible. Stretch and lift your head towards the ceiling.

Sit on a chair and stomp your feet up and down while pumping your arms back and forth by your side.

Managing tremors: The best way to manage tremors is to consistently take your prescribed medication at the appropriate times. Dietary habits, along with time, can affect medication efficiency as well. For example, diets high in protein minimize absorption of certain medications to assist in tremors. It’s important that Parkinson’s disease patients reduce their intake of protein by at least 12 percent.

Remedies for walking and standing difficulties: Take large steps with proper heel-to-toe form.

Keep legs at least 10 inches apart while turning or walking.

Avoid shoes with rubber soles, which can stick to the floor.

Walk at a steady rhythm and practice walking with a metronome.

Create a safer home: To avoid injury, maintain a clean home and avoid having objects in the center of a room as you can trip over. Ensure carpets are stuck down so you don’t get caught on them. Lastly, you can work with an occupational therapist to help improve home safety to prevent injury.

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