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What to Know About Parkinson’s-Induced Psychosis

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on

While most people realize that seniors with Parkinson’s disease experience certain physical challenges, many don’t know that a small percentage of those seniors also develop cognitive symptoms. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly loved one who has Parkinson’s, it’s important to become familiar with some of the basic information about this cognitive symptom of Parkinson’s disease to ensure your loved one’s safety and wellbeing. To help you get some of the key information about Parkinson’s-induced psychosis, Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care in Chandler discusses some of the symptoms and causes of the condition.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of psychosis among seniors with Parkinson’s is visual hallucinations, though some may also experience auditory ones. Occasionally, sudden changes in the environment can also lead to brief episodes of delirium and disorientation. While these hallucinations may increase in frequency and severity over time, many seniors are able to recognize that the hallucinations aren’t real and are relatively unperturbed by this symptom. Typically, mild symptoms, such as minor visual hallucinations, do not require treatment.

Primary Cause

While Parkinson’s medications can frequently relieve many motor symptoms, they can also sometimes cause psychological problems. As these medications treat the motor symptoms, such as muscle tremors, by releasing dopamine in the brain, sometimes an excess of that critical neurotransmitter will trigger hallucinations or other psychotic symptoms. If you or your loved one’s Chandler Parkinson’s caregiver suspect that your loved one’s medications are negatively affecting his or her mental health, contacting his or her physician may help ensure that he or she is able to switch to a new prescription.

Secondary Causes

Infection, insomnia, and high-stress levels can also cause symptoms of psychosis and urinary tract infections and dehydration are particularly common causes of psychosis among seniors with Parkinson’s. Often, treating the underlying cause of the psychosis relieves its symptoms, so maintaining regular blood monitoring and other physical examinations can help ensure infections are detected early on. Likewise, monitoring your loved one’s sleep and dietary habits and reporting them to his or her doctor can also help spot problems.

If you believe your loved one may be experiencing hallucinations or other symptoms of psychosis, the best thing to do is contact his or her physician as soon as possible. Having a Chandler 24-hour caregiver in the home around-the-clock may also help ensure early detection of psychosis symptoms, as well as the safety of your loved one during hallucination episodes. To learn more about how the experienced caregivers at Home Care Assistance can promote your elderly loved one’s safety and wellbeing, give a Care Manager a call at 480.448.6215 and schedule a free in-home consultation.