Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia | Avalon Memory Care

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia

Dementia is often thought of a side effect or complication of Parkinson’s Disease. Medical journals often list it that way, and coding guidelines even list it as a subcode under Parkinsonism. But according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and other sources, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia is actually its own disease, one of 11 types of dementia. So, while they share some underlying causes, Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia are considered separate diseases and have no symptoms in common.

A Lewy Body Dementia

Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD) along with Alzheimer’s Disease (DLB) are the two types of Lewy Body Dementias. Lewy bodies, discovered by the German-born Jewish American neurologist Frederic Lewy, cause abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein in to the brain cells. These protein deposits change brain chemistry and can have a characteristic effect on thinking, movement, behavior, and mood issues associated with PDD and DLB.
So, What’s the Difference?


Looking at the early symptoms of PD and PDD side-by-side make it clear that they are two different diseases:
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

• Tremor
• Small Handwriting
• Loss of Smell
• Trouble Sleeping
• Trouble Moving or Walking
• Constipation
• A Soft or Low Voice
• Masked Face
• Dizziness or Fainting
• Stooping or Hunching Over Parkinson’s Disease Dementia Symptoms
• Changes in memory, concentration and judgment
• Trouble interpreting visual information
• Muffled speech
• Visual hallucinations
• Delusions, especially paranoid ideas
• Depression
• Irritability and anxiety
• Sleep disturbances


Both Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia are diagnosed based on a doctor’s observation of symptoms. Since Parkinson’s Disease Dementia develops as part of Parkinson’s disease, some patients may have a combination of the symptoms associated with both diseases.

Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease Dementia?
The primary difference between dementia associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia is the timing of when symptoms of dementia begin:

• Lewy Body Dementia (associated with Alzheimer’s Disease) – cognitive symptoms without Parkinsonian symptoms or that begin prior to or within one year of onset of movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
• Parkinson’s Disease Dementia – cognitive symptoms begin more than one year after movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Here at Avalon Memory Care, our dedicated professionals provide continuous care in Dallas, Houston, and Arlington, including medication management. Our specially designed and comfortably furnished residences are home to individuals with any type of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease dementia. Families can call (469) 373-8671 to inquire about available accommodations.

See More Articles

  • Visiting Your Aging Parent With Memory Loss at Avalon Memory Care

    As a loving son or daughter, you naturally want the best of care for your senior parent. The compassionate assisted living caregivers at Avalon Memory Care want you to know that while your parent is living with us, he or she will receive nothing less than respectful, loving care within our comfortable, safe, and fully-staffed

  • Celebrating New Year’s Day in Memory Care

    Families often find that celebrations with their loved ones in memory care are easier when they embrace new traditions. For instance, it may not be practical to expect your loved one to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. Instead, consider throwing a New Year’s Day celebration, complete with a countdown to the first

  • Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia

    Parkinson’s disease is an incurable neurological disorder, with progressively worsening complications. Perhaps the most well-known symptom of Parkinson’s is a hand tremor, but it can also cause speech changes, muscle rigidity, and impaired posture. Eventually, as the disease progresses, more than half of all individuals with Parkinson’s will require dementia care. This particular type of


“Since my mother has lived at Avalon, I have had peace of mind for the first time since Alzheimer’s began to exact its terrible price from my mother’s life. Thank you for your part in making our lives better.”
Daughter | Ft. Worth, TX
“I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the care and love afforded to my mom over the last two weeks. Your success in finding such quality people has my gratitude and respect.”
Daughter | Dallas, TX
“We are very pleased with all of the efforts that your caring staff has made to smooth this traumatic transition.”
Son | Plano, TX
“I know my husband had the very best care in his final days. I regret that I did not know about Avalon sooner.”
Wife | Dallas, TX
“Mom spent the final 8 months of her life in Avalon Memory Care in Allen. The staff was great. There was rarely a day that my brother or I did not come by and they were always friendly to us and did their best to make mom comfortable and happy. We really appreciated them for everything they did.”
Daughter | Allen, TX
“Making the decision to place my mother in residential memory care was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. But living at Avalon has been the best thing for her at this stage of her life.”
Daughter | Allen, TX
“My grandmother has lived at Avalon Memory Care for 6 months now. I cannot speak highly enough about the warmth, dedication, and caring compassion of the staff. They always make us feel welcome and go out of their way to work with us to accommodate grandma’s needs.”
Grandson | Arlington, TX
“My grandmother spent her final days at Avalon and we couldn’t have asked for a better place to care for her. The caregivers are attentive and kind, and many of them have been with Avalon for years. If you are looking for a place to love on you and your family in a season that is inevitably difficult, Avalon is a wonderful choice.”
Granddaughter | Arlington, TX
“We are delighted with the facility of Avalon Memory Care. We just placed Grandma in an apartment with them and couldn’t be happier. It is clean and well-lit, and everyone greets us, down to the folks who clean up.”
Granddaughter | Arlington, TX

Schedule a Tour

Visit one of our 30+ campuses and experience our unique approach to memory care.

Book Now

Careers at Avalon

Explore our wide range of
career opportunities!

Learn More