Parkinson’s disease is a very common neurodegenerative condition amongst older people but until now, information on survival rates and risk factors has been inconclusive. A new cohort study of 138,000 patients with Parkinson’s disease has established links between the disease and demographic causes.
It has been found by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in the USA that survival rates in Parkinson’s were “significantly predicted” through sex and race with women, Hispanics and Asians having an improved prognosis reduced risk of mortality. Black patients had the highest death rate of just over 66% whilst almost 65% of white patients died after contracting the disease. Another risk factor was the development of dementia which approximately 70% of patients were diagnosed with. The mortality risk for patients with both Parkinson’s disease and dementia is greater than for patients only suffering from Parkinson’s.
Treatments to ease the effects of Parkinson’s disease include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy as well as medication and drug therapy. None of these treatments can cure the disease however. An innovative form of neurosurgery, known as neuromodulation or deep brain stimulation, can be used to electrically stimulate the brain in order to improve movement problems but up to 70% and can be highly effective at improving the quality of life for patients.