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Dizziness & Parkinsons
lmar58 posted:
My Dad has Parkinsons and has been experiencing dizziness when he stands up. His blood pressure drops like a rock and he then can fall. I canot find any information that shows that dizziness is one of the signs or symptoms of Parkinson's. Can someone help me with this information.

Thanks so much. Its very important for me to find this out.
Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
Dizziness is extremely common in PD, and is a result of the condition itself, PD medications, and other medications. What typically happens is a patient has a long history of Hypertension - or high blood pressure (BP) - and has been treated appropriately for many years before developing PD. The PD lowers BP a little. Then he is started on levodopa or a dopamine agonist or other PD drugs and his BP drops further. In addition, many men have difficulty with bladder control, and begin to restrict their water intake. This creates a "perfect storm" for your father to faint.

Please check his BP sitting and standing. I suspect it drops - and the standing systolic (the top number) blood pressure drops below 100 mm Hg. When this occurs his heart cannot pump blood to his brain, and he loses consciousness.

Treatment requires reducing the long-time hypertensive drugs, increasing his fluid intake by at least 2 glasses of water per day, and if not enough adding salt and medications to raise his BP.

I have written about this before in "TIPS," so you may wish to look their also. I do think this scary symptom is treatable. Be pushy with his doctors!
raleighpack replied to Mark A Stacy, MD's response:
Shy Drager???
My 78 year old dad was diagnosed w/ PD 2 years ago. His symptoms were fairly mild and he was getting along well until he was involved in a car accident 4/2010...T boned, breaking 5 ribs and landing in Moses Cone Hospital. When released 2 weeks later, he now had severe orthostatic hypotension and would suddenly faint upon standing. Over the 2 previous years, he had a few minor episodes of OH, but nothing serious enough to cause him to fall or pass out. His neurologist (Dr Jim Love) suggested possible Shy Drager. My question is.....could the trauma from the car crash suddenly manifest the debilitating OP and full blown MSA?
jameson12 responded:
I have a parent with Parkinsons and dizziness is VERY common for that parent. As the doctor noted, blood pressure can be very much a part of the situation as well as medications which lower BP even more. I hope this info helps.

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