Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Can Chemo bring out hidden PD?
dsp35 posted:
For the last few years, my mother has had mobility problems we related to arthritis, age and bone degeneration. She had a hip replacement, back surgery and was preparing for knee replacement when they discovered cancer. She recently finished her last round of chemo and it debilitated her to the point that she can now (a month later) barely function without assistance. She developed tremors, severe constipation, could barely move her limbs, extreme weakness, etc. I started researching chemo induced parkinsonism and started to realize that she had already been experiencing many of the classic signs of PD for years (loss of smell, stooped, shuffling walk, slowness, freezing to get balance, choking, occasional nervous "shakiness", but no real tremor, yelling in her sleep, etc.). Now I am 99% sure she has PD. We have an appointment with a neurologist for evaluation and I don't want him to discount my suspicions because I am a lay person and it could just be the related to the chemo. Any suggestions on how best to communicate my concerns?

Also, if it is PD, what does it mean to be undiagnosed for years? How much improvement can we realistically expect with medication/therapy?
Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
Dear dsp35
It would not be likely that the chemotherapy itself bring out symptoms of PD, but certainly medications for nausea can do this. I would review her medication list for medications for nausea (not all will cause PD symptoms) and find out if she had any anti-nausea medications during IV infusions. The neurologist needs to know this.
dsp35 replied to Mark A Stacy, MD's response:
I will check if she had them during IV, but I know she had them afterwards and is still taking them after a month. I just called and they say she is taking Reglan.

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
Was this Helpful?
65 of 81 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Neurological Disorders Center