<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1124406241028611&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
Ezra Home Care: Unwavering Support for Israel Against Hamas Terrorism and Its Backers
facebook twitter linkedin

Psychological Symptoms of Parkinson's: Hallucinations and Delusions

While the physical symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as muscle rigidity and tremors, are well known, around half of affected individuals are facing lesser-known psychological symptoms. These symptoms include hallucinations and delusions. In this article, we will outline these overlooked symptoms and offer guidance on dealing with them to maintain a good quality of life.

parkinson's and hallucinations

Symptoms of Parkinson's Hallucinations and Delusions

Parkinson’s Disease can lead to hallucinations and delusions, where your parent might:

  • See, hear, feel, or smell things that aren’t present – hallucinations
  • Hold strong beliefs that aren't based on reality – delusions

Initially, these symptoms may appear harmless and easily dismissable, like hearing a non-existent noise. However, as the disease progresses, these symptoms can become more severe, leading to serious clinical behaviors such as:

  • Paranoia
  • Publicly stating false beliefs that they are experiencing
  • Thoughts or actions showing a disconnect from reality (belief of superpowers, …)

As these symptoms intensify, distinguishing reality from delusion becomes challenging for the patient. That is why caregivers need to take action as soon as possible after these symptoms begin to manifest.

Addressing Hallucinations and Delusions in Parkinson's

Managing hallucinations and delusions in Parkinson's is not simple and straightforward, as it includes a team of several medical professionals. The key steps in recognizing hallucinations and delusions in the patient include:

  1. Medical Assessment: Seek advice from a Parkinson's specialist to evaluate the severity of the disease and rule out other potential causes of hallucinations and delusions like dementia. The specialist can also determine if current medications might be contributing to these symptoms, as some can induce hallucinations due to sudden dopamine surges within the brain.
  2. Medication Review: If the hallucinations and delusions are considered infrequent or benign, treatment may be delayed in order to allow medications for motor issues to be adjusted and continued. The Parkinson's Foundation emphasizes that medication can be a balancing act, reducing these psychological symptoms without aggravating motor symptoms.
  3. Antipsychotic Medications: In some cases, antipsychotic medications may be prescribed to address the chemical imbalances within the brain. These don't interfere with Parkinson's motor medications.

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) highlights that hallucinations can arise from sudden brain changes that are not related to dopamine-enhancing medication, but are caused by the progression of Parkinson's disease. While it's challenging to predict who might develop these psychological symptoms, certain factors, such as age, disease severity, duration of the disease, and dopamine-based treatments, can increase the risk.

Detecting early symptoms of hallucinations and delusions can be tricky, but crucial. Encouraging those with Parkinson's to speak out at the first signs of hallucinations and delusions is vital – the sooner a symptom is addressed, the better the outcome.

Hallucinations and delusions - as a side effect
Mental health concerns in advanced PD – psychosis and behavioral problems

Founded in 2008, Ezra Home Care offers live-in home care, 24-hour care, and hourly senior care.
All our caregivers are state-certified and provide services like personal carehousekeepingcompanionship, help with medication, and transportation assistance. We've spent 15 years refining our caregiver selection process to ensure families' peace of mind. Reach out for details and quotes.

Contact Us

or call us at 617-527-9000

You may also like to read
Is Palliative Care The Same as End-of-Life Care?
Alexander Schechter Jan 26, 2024
Is Palliative Care The Same as End-of-Life Care?

It is important to understand what are the differences between different forms of late-stage care when dealing with a serious and terminal disease. Let's discuss the specifics of palliative and end-of-life care to help you make informed decisions when the time comes. 

Read More
What is End of Life Care?
Alexander Schechter Jan 26, 2024
What is End of Life Care?

End-of-life care is an approach in healthcare that offers comfort, support, and dignity to individuals with terminal diseases. This type of care can take place in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, or even within a patient’s own home. It focuses on the specific physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of every individual as they approach the last stages of their life.

Read More
Is End-of-Life Care the Same as Hospice?
Alexander Schechter Jan 26, 2024
Is End-of-Life Care the Same as Hospice?

Making decisions about care options in the final stages of life can be overwhelming. This is why it is crucial to understand the key differences between different types of care upfront, to avoid any additional stress during a period as challenging as this one.

Read More