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Parkinson's Disease

Is Lou Gehrig`s DiseaseClosely Related to PD?

02/12/2010

Question:

I am the 3Rd sibling who had or has P.D. and anothr brother who had LOu G. disease. They all passed awsy. two passed last year. I have had P.D. for over 6 years and am doing great. I have only taken one drug called mirimax. My Dr. tells me only he and i really know I I haveP.D. Isn`t Lou G. a cousin gene to P.D.? However I am getting stiff all over however I have a severe back disc condition and arthiritis. AT first my Dr. told me he could keep me going only about 10 years then none of my meds would work for me, I would have to go to tthe nursing home and get to where I couldn`t swollow and die, How terrible to tell your patient this. My siblings had differnet proffesions, one a P.H.D. in biology, another a R.N. and the third a businessman, i was a teacher. How could we all have this gene? Our Father was in W.W.I and came out with a mustard gas disability. Possibility any connection?

We were raised in T.N. in a well environment.Emotionally I took the diagoneses not too good but had a daughte who was sick so had to remain upbeat. I was told 6 months later I had cancer , took radiation and am alright. having cance did not affect me like having P.D. We burid my sister 6 months later a brother , the next day my daughter died from a long illnes ,fluid on her brain.My husband now has cancer not for much worse in a short time? A lot of information.Sorry but this has been my life, However I am upbeat, a writer of poetry wining contest and have a crazy personality as well as a serious one if I have to be.Excuse my typo`s.i went to colleg at 43 when my first husband left us when our daughte hd a massive stroke at 26 , with a G.E>D> worked on masster`s , have alwsy been involved in civic and entertainmment for the art , winer first place state wide for poem. an a plus speaker in college, outstanding young woman of America ,a information offecer for the U.s. Navy Academy, only non military woman officer, I only tell you this to say i am a woman on the go and will fight my P.D. to the end. iam 69 and have traveled to 5 contients and many more plans to travel but am geting stiff. i exercise 3 times a week and more if possible. Want to go on as is. I am no fuddy dudy grandma I am high fashion and love it .I grieve for my precious daughter but i find ways to cope I cared ro her for 30 years and she died at my home at the dinner table. I hve neve allowed myself to get down and stay down. I have a zest for life. i want to inhale every fragance of life that i can and read, travel write and dance my life away. does attitude help? Wow! what a crazy woman you may say no but a small town school teacher who got to ahve diner in a room with former Presidnet Bush an on stage at the GRand ol e an inff officer . But I live in a tiny little town and taught mountain children in a pastoral rural setting. i have had the best of both worlds, thank you Dr. You may not read all this and wouldn`t blame you but life is more than sticking to the black and white. I took the time to learn how mountain children lived and yet traveled the world.

Answer:

There is a gene identified which can cause someone to have both symptoms of ALS and PD, but this is extremely rare and only seen in a certain part of the world. The history of different family members with either PD or ALS does not support this being related to this gene. Further, the cause of both these conditions is not known, but toxins and environmental factors may play a role. The greater link between these two conditions is that they both are progressive neurodegenerative diseases that have no cure at this time. There are numerous diseases that can fall into this broad classification.

Also, staying active and exercising is very important for people with PD.

For more information:

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

Response by:

Punit  Agrawal, DO Punit Agrawal, DO
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University