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Parkinson’s disease may be mistaken for normal pressure hydrocephalus in people with paraquat exposure

According to the Hydrocephalus Association, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are currently struggling with normal pressure hydrocephalus, a brain disorder whose symptoms often mirror those of Parkinson's disease.

People with a history of heavy paraquat exposure need to seek a second and even a third medical opinion to receive the correct diagnosis.

Furthermore, 30% of individuals with Parkinson's are initially misdiagnosed.

Normal-pressure hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the ventricles of the brain, leading to thinking and reasoning problems, difficulty walking, and loss of bladder control.

What are the symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus?

Normal-pressure hydrocephalus includes the term "normal pressure" because, in spite of the excess fluid in the brain, the pressure measured during a spinal tap is usually normal.

While brain ventricles enlarge due to the accumulation of excess fluid, they can disrupt and damage adjacent brain tissue, causing difficulty walking, problems with thinking and reasoning, and loss of bladder control.

Some of these symptoms are very similar to those encountered in people with Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, the symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus include:

  • difficulty walking that is similar to the way a person walks on a boat, with their body bent forward, their legs wide apart and their feet moving as if they are stuck to the deck
  • mild dementia that entails the loss of interest in daily activities, forgetfulness, difficulty completing daily tasks, and short-term memory loss
  • a decline in thinking skills that includes general slowing of thought processes, apathy, impaired planning and decision-making, low concentration, and changes in personality and behavior
  • loss of bladder control, which tends to occur later in the disease than difficulty walking and cognitive decline

Since some of these symptoms are also experienced by people with Parkinson's disease, the condition may be overlooked and, thereby, the sufferer may receive a wrong diagnosis. Thereby, it is essential that their family members encourage them to seek a second and even a third opinion from medical specialists.

A correct and accurate diagnosis of Parkinson's disease will not only help you receive the treatment you need but may also make you eligible for recovering compensation from the liable paraquat manufacturers. It is worthy of note that normal pressure hydrocephalus and Parkinson's disease can occur at the same time in certain people.

The difference between normal pressure hydrocephalus and Parkinson's disease

The start hesitation and freezing episodes that occur with normal pressure hydrocephalus are often similar to those experienced by people who struggle with Parkinson's disease. However, unlike normal pressure hydrocephalus, Parkinson's disease is associated with rigidity and unilateral rest tremor.

Furthermore, a robust response to L-Dopa, the amino acid that is made and used as part of the normal biology of humans, is not usually observed in people with normal pressure hydrocephalus, in contrast to Parkinson's disease.

File a paraquat claim with the help of our team of professionals

Atraxia Law has over 35 years of experience in evaluating personal injury and product liability claims and will gladly help you assess your eligibility for filing a claim if you suffer from Parkinson's disease as a result of paraquat exposure and have worked with the herbicide.

If you qualify for filing a claim, our team of experts will guide you to a specialized attorney who will help you obtain compensation from the liable companies.