Parkinson's Disease - Complications

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is often accompanied by these additional problems, which may be treatable:

Thinking difficulties: People may experience cognitive problems (dementia) and thinking difficulties. These usually occur in the later stages of PD. Such cognitive problems aren't very responsive to medications.

Depression and emotional changes: People may experience depression, sometimes in the very early stages. Receiving treatment for depression can make it easier to handle the other challenges of PD.

Some may also experience other emotional changes, such as fear, anxiety or loss of motivation. Doctors may give these people medications to treat these symptoms.

Swallowing problems: People may develop difficulties with swallowing as condition progresses. Saliva may accumulate in the mouth due to slowed swallowing, leading to drooling.

Chewing and eating problems: Late-stage PD affects the muscles in the mouth, making chewing difficult. This can lead to choking and poor nutrition.

Sleep problems and sleep disorders: People with Parkinson's Disease often have sleep problems, including waking up frequently throughout the night, waking up early or falling asleep during the day.

People may also experience rapid eye movement sleep (REM) behavior disorder, which involves acting out dreams. Medications may help those sleep problems.

Bladder problems: PD may cause bladder problems, including being unable to control urine or having difficulty urinating.

Constipation: Many people with PD develop constipation, mainly due to a slower digestive tract.