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Can Parkinson's Progess this fast???
Berksicle1 posted:
My 71 year old father had a very sudden decline in motor skills last week and is being evaluated for possible Parkinson's Disease. He was diagnosed with Dementia back in June by a Geriatric Doctor, but I kept telling my parents to get a 2nd opinion from a Neurologist because I felt my father had some symptoms of Parkinsons--shuffling of the feet, blank masked face, drooling, etc. The doctor said it wasn't Parkinson's because he wasn't having tremors.

One day last week he woke up and couldn't get out of bed. My mom was able to get him up , but his legs started shaking and he couldn't walk. He also started having trouble eating, it would take him 45 mins to eat a small sandwich and he said it hurt when he swallowed. We took him to the ER and he's now been in the hospital for 3 days. The neurologist thinks its Parkinson;s but is evaluating the symptoms. My question is for having just a few symptoms and to be up and walking one day, but then not being able to walk or get up the next day, does the disease progress this fast in some people? My father will be going to a rehab center, will this even help? Will he ever be able to get up and walk again and get out of bed, chairs, etc? Or has the disease progressed fast into Stage 5 ???
Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
Dear Berksicle1,
This sounds like too rapid a decline to be PD. I would make sure he does not have another brain problem, and suggest a lumbar puncture to look for meningitis or encephalitis and MRI of the brain. An extremely rare, but rapidly progressing disease may be a disorder called spongioform encephalopathy. (for perspective, I have only seen 2 cases of this, compared to 1,000s of people with PD.)

I would suggest you ask his neurologist about these disorders, but please apologize for my suggestion of this rare condition; I am only trying to think of everything.

Helpful Tips

Sensory symptoms in Parkinson's DiseaseExpert
Sensory complaints in PD are not uncommon, and include visual changes, loss of sense of smell, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and pain. ... More
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