Can Parkinson’s Disease Kill You?
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. It is caused by the death of brain cells that produce dopamine a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling body movements. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors slowness of movement rigidity.
The question on most people’s minds when they learn about Parkinson’s disease is whether it can kill you or not. The answer is a bit complicated because Parkinson’s disease is not directly fatal. However the complications side effects of the disease can be life-threatening.
Parkinson’s Disease Mortality
Parkinson’s disease itself is not considered a terminal illness. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation the average life expectancy of someone with Parkinson’s disease is around 10 to 20 years after diagnosis. This is because Parkinson’s disease is a slow progressing disease many people can manage the symptoms through medication therapy.
However as Parkinson’s disease progresses it can lead to other health complications that can be fatal. For example people with Parkinson’s disease are at higher risk for falls fractures which can be life-threatening particularly in older adults. They may also experience difficulty swallowing may be at risk for choking aspiration pneumonia. In addition people with Parkinson’s disease are at increased risk for infections particularly pneumonia urinary tract infections.
Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Mortality
Parkinson’s disease treatment options are limited there is currently no cure for the disease. The main treatment options for Parkinson’s disease are medications that help manage the symptoms of the disease. In severe cases surgical interventions like deep brain stimulation may be suggested.
While medication surgical interventions can be helpful for managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms they can also have side effects that can be life-threatening. For example some Parkinson’s disease medications can cause hallucinations confusion other cognitive problems that can lead to accidents.
In conclusion while Parkinson’s disease itself is not fatal the complications side effects of the disease can be. People with Parkinson’s disease are at higher risk for falls fractures infections other health complications that can be life-threatening. That is why it is essential to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease through medication therapy regular medical check-ups to prevent such complications. It is also vital for people with Parkinson’s disease to have a good support system of family friends healthcare professionals who can help them manage the disease its effects.
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