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bethv (@bethv)

Parkinson’s unresponsive episodes.

Parkinson's Disease | Last Active: Mar 20 12:43am | Replies (62)

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My mother is 86 and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about 17 years ago. She has limited mobility, but gets around fairly well with a rollator and can walk limited distances. She eats and drinks well on her own, but requires help in all other areas of daily living. About 4 years ago, she started having episodes of being non responsive. During these episodes she would not respond to us touching her hands or feet, and her eyes remained closed until they were over. Her blood pressure was normal and she has never had issues with high or low glucose. They last anywhere from a few minutes, with the longest one being 2 hours. Her neurologist recommended a brain scan to determine if she was having seizures or mini strokes, but the results were negative. Blood work is always good, and they diagnosed these episodes as being "behavioral". We cannot figure out what causes them, and can't understand why the doctor attributed them to behavior or "acting out." Generally, her routine remains the same and we cannot put our figure on anything that upsets her prior to the episodes taking place. Recently, these non responsive episodes occur almost weekly or at least a few times a month. It usually happens in the morning but on occasion they have occurred in the afternoon as well. Has anyone experienced this with a loved one or someone they know who has Parkinson's? Is this attributed to the progression of Parkinson's disease and should I seek a second opinion from another doctor.

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Replies to "My mother is 86 and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease about 17 years ago. She has..."

Hello @mshoggie and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I am sorry to hear of your mother's problems with unresponsive episodes. Others on Connect have mentioned this as well. Please take a look at the following discussion about this very matter. Just click on this link and you will find others discussing this,
When your doctor said it was "behavioral" he probably did not mean that she was acting out in the way that we think of acting out. You might inquire as to exactly what he meant. Parkinson's is a brain disorder and can produce personality changes as it progresses. Has she had any other change in symptoms? I'm also wondering if your mom sleeps well? If not, perhaps this could add to these "unresponsive episodes."

After you read some of the posts in the discussion above, will you post an update?

Thanks for the feedback . She does not sleep well and was given an anti anxiety medication to help her relax at nite. I will review the other responses and will provide updates .


If sleep is a problem, you might check out a video that I posted some time ago about sleep problems and PD. Here is the link, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sleep-disorders-parkinsons-video/

Also, just a thought if the anti-anxiety medication was begun (or increased) prior to the unresponsive episodes that might be a factor as well. Just something to consider.

Hello @mshoggie

I was thinking about you and your question about your mother's non-responsive episodes. Have you been able to determine the cause yet? Any changes that you have noticed in these episodes or anything that seems to trigger them?

As you are comfortable doing so, will you provide an update?

Hi, I have also posted below, but in case you don't see it – look for this article (CASE REPORT) "Cognitive fluctuations in Parkinson’s disease dementia: blood pressure lability as an underlying mechanism". We are going to try this: basically, lying them flat and elevate the legs during the episode.

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