Parkinson’s disease can exaggerate the frailty constitution.
This past week, I’ve presented some of my PhD research specifically focusing on frailty and Parkinson’s disease… I’ve talked about the importance of quality of life and physical activity, especially in females. Now I want to talk about Parkinson’s disease management.
(Link to full article here: Roland, Cornett, Theou, Jakobi & Jones. J Frailty Aging 2012; 1(3):123-127)–
As we know, there currently is no cure for Parkinson’s (… but fingers crossed!); therefore the disease is managed by a multidisciplinary healthcare team through a combination of medications and therapies (including, physical, speech language, occupational, etc.). The findings of this paper demonstrated that the daily dosage of dopaminergic medication best indicated your level of frailty… more levodopa = more frail.
Now, what this REALLY means is: Parkinson’s is progressive, so as the disease progresses medication dosage is adjusted to manage the increasing symptom severity. For example, as the disease progresses FATIGUE becomes a major concern and can be most disabling.
We know: Dopamine deficiency –> Fatigue. So, in Parkinson’s: Dopamine decline –> Fatigue –> (*Frail* –>) Increase levodopa dose.
Understanding how frailty relates to Parkinson’s can improve early identification and targeted management strategies… which can ultimately preserve functional independence!
Thanks for letting me share some of my work! much love.