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Parkinson's Disease

What can we expect - MIL

08/22/2000

Question:

Does Parkinson`s effect digestive and bowel activity? I know not to let Grannie(age 74)go too long without a movement but she really argues with me about taking stool softeners, enemas, etc. She will swear she has never needed help with a bowel movement - when in fact, in the last two years she has had problems and has asked for a Fleet`s. Now she reads the warning on the Fleet`s and says it could kill her. Dementia seems to be progressing. Is this also due to Parkinson`s? What type of progressive problems are we looking at with Parkinson`s. (She also has diabetes.)

Answer:

Constipation is a common problem in PD, both from the disease itself as well as due to medication side effects. Stool softeners and laxatives are helpful.

Dementia can also be a problem later in the course of the disease. There is no definitive treatment for the dementia associated with parkinsonism.

As with all neurodegenerative diseases, gradual worsening is expected with the patient becoming increasingly dependent in terms of activities of daily living.

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Go to the Parkinson's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Arif Dalvi, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati