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My mom has PD and almost every evening, any time between ...

Tuesday March 05, 2013

My mom has PD and almost every evening, any time between 4-8 pm she experiences hot flashes, she gets really red and hot from the neck up, while the rest of her body is cold. Is this a PD symptom? We have to put ice packs and iced towels all over her head and face to get it to calm down.

There are many causes of hot flashes including hormonal changes in women, anxiety, medicine side effects and certain medical conditions. Alterations in perception of temperature can be seen with advanced Parkinson’s disease. It is thought, in part that these symptoms can be caused by an alteration in the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system can control how our blood vessels constrict or dilate - altering blood pressure, blood flow and temperature. Drenching sweats and redness of skin can be associated with motor off periods when medication dosing and effect is low (often seen at end of dose) or the alternative situation when medicine is at its peak (often associated with dyskinesia or too much medicine.) Off related problems are often experience with sweating a condition called, off-related drenching sweats.

Continue to track the timing of the symptoms, along with the time medicine for Parkinson’s is taken and whether movement symptoms are well controlled. This will help your neurologist determine if there is a relationship between these variables especially if symptoms are noted after a dose is taken or just prior to the next dose. With this added information, your neurologist and primary care provider can help you determine the cause.

Monique L. Giroux, MDMonique L. Giroux, MD
Medical Director, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation

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