Dementia in Parkinson’s disease

Dementia is a late complications of Parkinson’s disease. Dementia and Parkinsonian syndrome can occur at the same time in case of Lewy body dementia.

The dementia observed in Parkinson’s disease is different from the Alzheimer’s dementia.

1-The following signs occur very early and announce the dementia:

– the hallucinations (mainly visual or the feeling of presence beside or behind him)

-the sleep disorders ( vivid nightmares called REM behavior disorders are frequent-more than 90% cases in Lewy Body dementia)

-the daytime sleepiness and the mental slowness. The patient stops to take part in conversations.

2- Over the years, the alertness of the patient becomes variable; one day the patient is very drowsy during daytime, even non responsive and another day he can hold a conversation.It can even fluctuate between morning and afternoon. The concentration and the attention are affected,  and the patient starts falling.

-the patient loose the capacity of executing sequential tasks and also multi-tasking. he does not  know anymore how to cook or even to make a cup of tea, how to use the remote control of the TV, how to use the phone for example.

-The memory loss can be mild for many years and respond to cueing; the patient can also recognise people for a long time.

3-The dementia progresses over the years and is associated with loss of mobilty, falls, loss of independance, drooling and mutism. The nighmares can become worst or disappeared. The swallowing difficuties exposed the patient to aspiration pneumonia.