I would like to accumulate information about Service Members diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. There are two categories I am looking for, first, GW vets diagnosed on active duty, second, GW vets diagnosed after departure from service.
About me. I am an active duty officer stationed at Fort Bragg. Spent 5 years enlisted in the 82nd, went to college on the GI Bill and Green to Gold, and have been on active duty for the past 11 years. I am a GW vet, Aug 90-Apr 91. I was diagnosed with PD about six weeks ago, after almost six years of trying to figure out what was wrong. My symptoms started in 2000-2001, a tiny tremor in my right hand that came and went. Saw a doctor and was told nothing was wrong. Spent the next four years ignoring the symptoms. I had the fear of being marked as unfit. Ultimately, my symptoms became very pronounced in the middle of 2006. I tried seeking medical attention, but the military system does not afford timely referral to specialists. Long story short, took way to long for a diagnosis. Partially my fault, my age, and the military medical system. I was always told I was too young for PD, ALS, PSP...the list goes on. Water under the bridge at this point.
The Goal. I am looking to put more pressure on the VA and government to genuinely address, assess, determine, and treat GW and GWOT vets with the dignity are respect they have earned through sacrifice and service. I have had the fortunate pleasure of making contacts with some of our legislative friends. I would like to accumulate as much information as I can, and take it to some of our law makers. I plan to question what the real intentions are of the VA and our government to really try and find answers to why so many GW vets have, are and will contract these devastating disease. We have a whole new generation of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, many of which will be in our shoes sooner then later. It is our responsibility to address these issues. Any information folks are willing to provide is greatly appreciated.
Reach out to forum member Carl. He has done the most research into this. He served in the British Army but has done some extensive research on this including the affects on us U.S. troops. He actually has a list............he is a good guy.
Posts: 521 | From: FL | Registered: Jul 2005
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My symptoms are, Bradykinesia, cog wheeling rigidity in my upper torso, arms, wrists, shoulders, neck, upper back. Speech impairment, and cognitive difficulties. I also developed the Parkinson's gait and have serious balance problems, along with severe seborrhea on my scalp face and chest. Along with many others. But the information below is from the Neurology Channel and the Michael J Fox Foundation websites. I think the information below will give you the best insight into the symptoms.
I will warn you, that there are many neurological disorders that have similar symptoms as Parkinson's does. If you think your having problems, see your doctor and get a neurological exam.
People with idiopathic Parkinson's disease may develop several symptoms over time, but they typically develop the primary symptoms bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity, and parkinsonian gait. Most people with Parkinson's do not develop all of the symptoms associated with the disease.
Primary Symptoms Bradykinesia is slowness in voluntary movement. It produces difficulty initiating movement as well as difficulty completing movement once it is in progress. The delayed transmission of signals from the brain to the skeletal muscles, due to diminished dopamine, produces bradykinesia.
Tremors in the hands, fingers, forearm, or foot tend to occur when the limb is at rest but not when performing tasks. Tremor may occur in the mouth and chin as well.
Rigidity, or stiff muscles, may produce muscle pain and an expressionless, mask-like face. Rigidity tends to increase during movement.
Poor balance is due to the impairment or loss of the reflexes that adjust posture in order to maintain balance. Falls are common in people with Parkinson's.
Parkinsonian gait is the distinctive unsteady walk associated with Parkinson's disease. There is a tendency to lean unnaturally backward or forward, and to develop a stooped, head-down, shoulders-drooped stance. Arm swing is diminished or absent and people with Parkinson's tend to take small shuffling steps (called festination). Someone with Parkinson's may have trouble starting to walk, appear to be falling forward as they walk, freeze in mid-stride, and have difficulty making a turn.
Secondary Symptoms The progressive loss of voluntary and involuntary muscle control produces a number of secondary symptoms associated with Parkinson's. Most patients do not experience all of them, and symptoms vary in intensity from person to person.
Some secondary symptoms of Parkinson's disease include the following:
* Constipation * Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)–saliva and food that collects in the mouth or back of the throat may cause choking, coughing, or drooling * Excessive salivation (hypersalivation) * Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) * Loss of bladder and/or bowel control (incontinence) * Loss of intellectual capacity (dementia)–late in the disease * Psychosocial: anxiety, depression, isolation * Scaling, dry skin on the face and scalp (seborrhea) * Slow response to questions (bradyphrenia) * Small, cramped handwriting (micrographia) * Soft, whispery voice (hypophonia)
Posts: 45 | From: NC | Registered: Dec 2007
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