I was 51 when diagnosed in January 2003. I had a tremor in one finger, did not swing my left arm when I walked, and lost my sense of smell 20 years before. When an MRI came up clear (no tumor) I got the diagnosis of parkinsons.
I went through months of angst and denial but the diagnosis was correct (unfortunately). But you can help yourself. This does NOT have to be as terrible as you fear. Here are some things Ive learned in dealing with this disease, and for your health I recommend you start them now:
There is a lot of evidence that EXERCISE can help so an overweight couch potato like me now walks, swims and bikes (nearly) every day. Do anything everything you can do starting NOW: yoga, tai chi, weight training, walk, treadmill, bike, etc etc every day do as much as you can and start now. While there is nothing proven to slow the progression, exercise may help, plus there are supplements and foods that have shown that they may help (eat/take them now):
Dark berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberies, etc)
Dark grape juice
Curcumin supplements (an ingredient of curry) has shown to be very good for the brain
Coenzyme Q10 in mega doses may slow the progression try to take 1200mg per day
Eat broccoli (!)
IF you get a PD diagnosis, the NIH is looking for people with early PD not on PD medication yet. Whatever the diagnosis do NOT let doctors start you on pd medications until you think about clinical trials. There are trials going on right now for substances that may be neuroprotective. (I have participated in 5 trials so far
I have a brother that has had parkinsons for, I'm guessing 10 years. He's tried a lot of different things and was on several or many different drugs. He was on the one that begins with an "L" that almost everyone ends up being on. Anyway, I gave him a book by a doctor in Florida who was having real success using intravenous glutathione. It took him over a year and one half years to go, but he finally did. He is now doing the intravenous glutathione and has remarkably been able to go off of the harsh drugs he was on. I know he's still using some drugs, but the glutathione actually works!!! It is not a gimmick and it is so definitely not a placebo affect. Some insurance companies are starting to actually cover it. I'm just SICK that the major parinson's associations are not aware of this and promoting it, etc. The last I heard, his neurologist thinks he has halted the parkinsons, but I find that really hard to believe and am not suggesting at all that it did. (it may have, but I honestly don't know and am not at all claiming that it did. the jury is still out) BUT I am saying unequivically that the glutathione has improved his life dramatically and he has difinitely gotten off the harshest drugs. I wish I had more exact info to write here so I could give more intelligent information. I am having surgery in a couple of weeks and will be off work for about 8 weeks. It will be my mission to get more exact information and to then call, email, and send faxes to these associations and find out why, why, why, they are not aware of and looking into the glutathione. I was rudely brushed off a couple of years ago when I called one association to seek info on the glutathione. I'm livid that they blew me off because I then slacked off on pushing my brother to find out about it, etc. He could have been on this quite a while ago. Anyway, I wanted to really try and get people to be aware of it and PLEASE check it out because it is real, even tho it sounds too good to be true. I love my brother dearly and it's been crushing me to see him going thru what he has been going through and watching my mother having to watch her son go through this. I would NEVER write what I have written if I didn't know and see for myself that it really does work.