Know Your Risk: Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects over 7.5 million people worldwide. The disease is identified by four cardinal signs:  bradykinesia (slow movements), tremors at rest, rigidity, and postural instability.  Though the cause of PD is unknown, excess depletion of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, may be responsible; therefore, all types of PD are treated in relatively the same way.  There are no diagnostic tests for PD nor is there a cure.  Treatment focuses on managing symptoms.  Though your risk of developing PD is rare, numbers are growing every year, so it’s important to know your stance.

Risk Factors:

  • Recurrent depression: depression may put you at increased risk for PD.  Anxiety and depression have been shown to be very early symptoms of the disease.  Signs of either anxiety or depression are never to be ignored.
  • Genetics: having a close family member with the disease may increase your chances of developing certain types of PD.  Scientists have found over twenty independent risk variants across different genes.  Like Alzheimer’s Disease, the data does not suggest that our genes are solely responsible for this disease nor is genetic testing recommended.
  • Age: it’s unavoidable, but the older we get, the likelier we are to develop neurodegenerative diseases like PD.
  • Coffee Breaks: people who are adequately caffeinated may have a lower risk for developing PD.   It is not clear whether this correlation results from the properties of the coffee bean or the caffeine.  Either way, drink up!
  • Cigarette Breaks: interestingly, smoking cigarettes is actually a protective factor against PD.  The reason behind this is unknown, but it could be nicotine at work.  This may be the only situation where smoking cigarettes is helpful—but until further research is available, smoking is not worth the risk.

Parkinson’s Disease is still unexplored territory.  We can look forward to continued research and knowledge from the experts.   In the meantime, know your risk and never ignore any changes in your health status.  And remember that the Alliance Homecare team is here to help.  We’re experts at caring for the Parkinson’s population.  Please email us at with any questions or concerns.

If you or someone you know needs help defining what home care would look like for you, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1.877.687.7380 (NURSE80).


More blog posts

  • The Value of a Long-Term Care Plan 

    As your loved ones continue to age, your family is likely to face increasingly complex decisions regarding how best to…

    View Article

  • How to Speak to Your Loved Ones About In-Home Care 

    As our loved ones age and develop more complex mental, physical, and medical needs, it becomes more and more difficult…

    View Article

  • Being a Parkinson’s Foundation Community Partner: What It Means and Why It Matters for Your Loved Ones 

    At Alliance Homecare, we understand the importance of highly personalized and experienced treatment plans for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease….

    View Article

  • Elevating Home Health Care: A Case Study

    How Alliance Homecare skilled nursing services exceeded expectations and transformed the care of an aging couple. Home health care has…

    View Article

Join Our Team Calling great HHAs, RNs & LPNs

Find a career where your time and skills are valued and your dedication to service is rewarded.

Request Care

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We accept Private Pay and Private Long term Care Insurance only. We do not participate in Medicaid or Medicare Plans.

Join our team Calling great HHAs, RNs & LPNs