Alan and Lila Berris speak with Sandra Siepak about Parkinson’s Disease and the Parkinson Association of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Alan speaks about his Parkinson’s diagnosis, treatment and experiences. Lila speaks about being a caregiver regarding her husband’s condition.
The discussion includes symptoms, sleep, exercise, balance, medication and challenges, including dealing with depression.
Parkinson’s disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. As the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become increasingly common. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common, occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. The main motor symptoms are collectively called “parkinsonism”, or a “parkinsonian syndrome”.
The cause of Parkinson’s disease is generally unknown, but believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Those with a family member affected are more likely to get the disease themselves.
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