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Ruby Lou
Senior Contributor

Parkinsons Disease

My mom was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease a couple years back.  I am re-reading a book I had bought about Parkinsons.  figure its time to re-visit it as the stages are getting more advanced now.  One of the comments in the book is that Parkinsons is more prevelant in the upper-midwest and in farmers and their wives. I am wondering now that farming has changed and we aren't standing behind the planter dumping in insectide as it blows in our faces if the number of Parkinsons patients will go down in the future.  Also, seems like more wives are working in town and not out helping on the farm as much.  I can remember helping my dad fill the planter with bags of insecticides (looked like pepper!) with no masks.  I don't know if that is what they are associating it with or not. 

My mom had a big garden of vegetables for years and then to flowers all over the farm so she was outside in the garden or helping dad....and raising 7 kids!   The book also talks about Parkinsons can start as early as 40 years old. the lady that wrote the book had an 8 month old and found out she had it.   I would like to go back through some of my mom's writing in the past and see if I can find where her hand writing changed.  that is a sign of when it could have started as well as the times she lost her balance.

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4 Replies
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Parkinsons Disease

Seems that I read many years ago of concerns with even household insect sprays.  Like you, I helped my father a lot, but not as much with pesticides as with other chores.  Still, I managed to be severely poisoned by one insecticide at age 15.  

 

Very scary, acute exposure...yours was more chronic, over a long timeframe.  Of course, I soaked up a lot of these neurotoxins in my teen years. If handwriting is a clue, I am screwed...cannot even read my own some days now.

 

 

i think Parkinson's is associated with damage to the fatty covering of nerve fibrs called the myelin sheath.  Not to oversimplify, but it works sort of like insulation on electrical wiring.  Try going back through old checks she wrote, birthday or Christmas cards she sent your family, etc.  

 

Old tax returns would only have signatures, which might help..but most people tend to hold that together longer from what I have seen

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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Re: Parkinsons Disease

We have a fellow in our church, a part time farmer & full time ag teacher, who was diagnosed I would guess in his late 30's or early 40's. He has had two surgeies for the implants and they have helped although he's not cured. This year his sister was diagnosed in her 40's. So far her's has not been as severe. Wondering how much is inherited.
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Ruby Lou
Senior Contributor

Re: Parkinsons Disease

Have read a little today about the Deep Brain Stimulation /implant.  Sounds promising for helping to improve symptoms temporarily.  side effects could be brain bleed or stroke.  That is scary to think of.  I havent been to her neuro doctor appt with her since we saw the kook a few years ago  She has a new one now who is supposed to be a specialist in parks.  I don't know if they have discussed the DBS yet. We put her on a plane on Wednesday to Texas to see my brother and his family and all the grands down there.  I hated to see them strap her into that aisle seat to get her in the plane.  But she was so excited to go that nothing was going to stop her. Couldn't beleive they asked if the wheelchair was electric.  Dang, if we could have sent her electric wheelchair with her, that would have been awesome.

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Parkinsons Disease

I read an article written by Michael J. Fox, about his battle with Parkinsons.   It was no only very informative, as to how the disease affects someone, from the victim's point of view, but also very uplifiting, and written with a positive point of view, as to what hs still CAN do, instead of focusing on what he can't.

I poked around, but didn't find it, if anyone has a link to it, it is a good read.

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