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Dementia and Parkinson's

Dementia doesn't affect everyone with Parkinson's. However, it is more common in people with the condition than those without.

There are 2 forms of dementia associated with Parkinson's. When a dementia diagnosis is being made by a specialist:

  • Parkinson's dementia is diagnosed when someone already has the movement (motor) symptoms of Parkinson's and has had them for some time.
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies is diagnosed when someone has the symptoms of dementia either before or at the same time as they develop Parkinson's.

It's important to speak to your GP, specialist or Parkinson's nurse if you think you have the symptoms of dementia - or if you think someone you care for does.

It's rare that someone under the age of 65 will develop dementia.

How can dementia affect people with Parkinson's?

Each person will experience dementia in their own way. The symptoms may include:

There is no cure for dementia, but many of the symptoms can be managed. An early diagnosis will give a better chance of benefiting from treatments.

Dementia diagnosis

It's important to get a diagnosis from a specialist as soon as possible so that treatment has the most benefit.

Diagnosis will also help to make sure the symptoms aren't caused by other problems, such as depression or the side effects of medication.

What treatment is available?

There is no cure for dementia, but there are medications that may help. Adjusting your Parkinson's medication may also help with some symptoms. Your specialist or Parkinson's nurse can advise you.

Treatments such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and dietary therapy have helped people too.

Find out more about the treatment and management of dementia.

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