Parkinson’s disease and Snow

Does snow affect people with Parkinson’s disease?  Not actually the disease itself, however, it could possibly affect your mood, which in turn affects your Parkinson’s disease.

Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are real clinical symptoms of Parkinson’s.  At least half of all Parkinson’s patients may suffer from clinical depression at some point during the course of their disease.  Snow could cause anxiety while watching the snow forecast and even worse when it is coming down.  What if you were driving in the snow and your anxiety increased due to the snow?  It is best to get your caregiver to drive in the snow for you.  Some people get depressed because of snow, especially when it dumps several inches and it is days before you can get out.  Make sure you mention any of these problems with your doctor.

Snow can make others feel warm inside.  Maybe this person loves to snowmobile, sled, ski, snowboard, just to name a few.  I know some Parkinson’s patients that go skiing all the time.  I guess they don’t have problems with Bradykinesia which refers to slowness of movement. Bradykinesia is most apparent when people with PD start to walk or begin to make other conscious body movements such as reaching or turning. Their movement takes extra effort and appears slow and hesitant – many appear to shuffle their feet when they walk. Parkinson’s patients can become clumsier. Make sure you ask your doctor before you hit the slopes or even go out to play in the snow.  Be very cautious since falls are prevalent in PD patients.

 

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