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progression of parkinson's
p3nny123 posted:
My dad is 81 yrs old and has been diagnosed with PD for years now, over 10. Until recently, his disease has been very manageable. He needs help getting dressed and is mostly extremely tired and slow. He doesn't walk well but can still manage to get around with a walker. But in the last few weeks he has developed vertigo which has caused him to loose 3 out of 5 meals. Is vertigo part of PD? Also, my mom, his caretaker, is wondering what to expect next. Is this the beginning of the end?
Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
Dear p3nny123
Thank you for your note. Vertigo is not a symptom commonly associated with PD, but dizziness is often seen with increasing disease duration. In this case, one man's vertigo, may be another man's dizziness? One of my common themes in the blog is low blood pressure - and I think (even hope) this is the case with your father.

Check his bp sitting and 1 minute after standing. If his sitting bp is lower than 100/70 or if the standing BP drops more than 20 points, he needs to have his medications reviewed (especially BP medications), and some steps need to be taken to raise his blood pressure: more water intake, perhaps increased salt in his diet, and a consultation with his doctor.

If his BP is not low, then I think he has an additional problem - vertigo - and may need an evaluation and treatments.

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