Comedian and actor Richard Lewis, 75, lately introduced in a Twitter video that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s illness two years in the past.
“I started walking a little stiffly, I was shuffling my feet, so I went to a neurologist and they gave me a brain scan, and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” he shared in the video.
The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star appeared optimistic about the truth that he was diagnosed with the central nervous system dysfunction later in life, at 73 years previous.
RICHARD LEWIS REVEALS PARKINSON’S DISEASE DIAGNOSIS: ‘I’M FINISHED WITH STAND-UP’
“Luckily, I got it late in life … I’m on the right meds — so I’m cool,” the actor mentioned.
Late-onset vs. early-onset Parkinson’s
While the vast majority of individuals with Parkinson’s illness are diagnosed after age 60, some develop it earlier in life.
When an individual is diagnosed at 50 years previous or youthful, it is taken into account early-onset Parkinson’s illness, in keeping with the Parkinson’s Foundation.
When it afflicts somebody older than 50, the illness is taken into account late-onset.
What’s comparatively the identical throughout all age teams are early motor signs corresponding to tremors, stiffness, slowness of motion, fatigue, despair, nervousness, lack of odor and bother sleeping, amongst others.
Early-onset Parkinson’s extra prone to be hereditary
While it’s potential for somebody to get early-onset Parkinson’s illness even when it doesn’t run in the household, the youthful instances usually tend to be hereditary, in keeping with Dr. Charalampos Tzoulis, professor of neurology and neurogenetics on the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital in Norway.
“Such causes include mutations in genes such as PRKN (Parkin) and PINK1,” the physician instructed Fox News Digital.
About 15% of these with Parkinson’s have a household historical past of the illness, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.
These instances are attributable to genetic mutations in the genes LRRK2, PARK2, PARK7, PINK1 or SNCA.
Outcomes of early-onset Parkinson’s
Actor Michael J. Fox, who’s now 61, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s illness in 1991 at simply 29 years previous (he did not share his prognosis publicly till 1998).
In 2000, he began the Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which is devoted to discovering a remedy for the illness via funding and analysis of therapies. Fox has additionally written 4 memoirs since his prognosis.
One benefit of getting Parkinson’s early in life is that it tends to progress extra slowly, mentioned Dr. Tzoulis, who additionally leads analysis on Parkinson’s illness and different neurodegenerative issues.
“Early-onset Parkinson’s generally progresses slower and may have a better long-term prognosis,” mentioned the physician.
Younger sufferers are additionally much less prone to have dementia or cognitive issues.
“But the prognosis depends on multiple factors, such as whether there is a genetic cause and what the individual’s response is to dopaminergic therapy (medications that regulate dopamine levels in the brain) as well as comorbidity.”
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Younger sufferers are additionally much less prone to have dementia or cognitive issues, and so they are inclined to dwell considerably longer than individuals with older-onset Parkinson’s, mentioned Dr. Joel S. Perlmutter, a professor of neurology on the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, in a webinar for the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA).
There are, nonetheless, some drawbacks to getting Parkinson’s earlier in life.
“Younger patients are more prone to developing levodopa-induced dyskinesias (involuntary movements) during the course of the disease,” Dr. Tzoulis instructed Fox News Digital.
This impact is attributable to the long-term use of levodopa, which is the most typical medicine for managing Parkinson’s motor signs.
“Early-onset Parkinson’s generally progresses slower.”
“This can often be effectively handled by advanced treatment options, such as deep brain stimulation,” the physician added.
Patients with early-onset Parkinson’s are additionally extra prone to develop dystonia, which causes involuntary muscle contractions and modifications in posture.
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Depression and nervousness can be heightened with earlier diagnoses.
“People with young-onset Parkinson’s tend to have a higher rate of depression than older onset Parkinson’s,” mentioned Dr. Perlmutter.
Life expectancy with Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s just isn’t in itself a deadly illness, in keeping with the APDA.
“Most patients die with Parkinson’s disease and not from it,” the inspiration said on its web site.
“The illnesses that kill most people are the same as those that kill people with PD. These are heart conditions, stroke and cancer.”
As the illness progresses, nonetheless, it could make somebody extra vulnerable to accidents and different situations that would develop into deadly.
For instance, these with Parkinson’s have the next danger of falling.
They might be as much as thrice extra prone to expertise falls, per a 2021 examine in Journal of Movement Disorders.
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People with the dysfunction additionally face the next hazard of creating pneumonia (lung infections) attributable to issue swallowing.
Those with early-onset Parkinson’s are inclined to have greater charges of despair.
Aspiration pneumonia — which happens when somebody breathes meals or liquid into the airways or lungs with out swallowing — accounts for 70% of deaths in individuals with Parkinson’s illness, a 2021 examine printed in Scientific Reports discovered.
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Overall, nonetheless, these with Parkinson’s can probably dwell so long as they might with out the dysfunction.
“Related complications” could cut back total life expectancy by only one to 2 years, Healthline said.