My sister Bev, who has stage 3 Parkinson’s disease (PD), always says she wishes her hair was as thick as mine. Although we were both blessed with natural curls and waves when we were younger, Bev’s hair has become much finer and less wavy over time.
As we age, it is natural for the thickness, color and texture of our hair to change. Bev and I both have gray hair now.
Bev has tried a number of products to add volume, but noted that “I don’t have enough hair to add the product for it to help!”
Hair loss has been discussed on the Parkinson’s News Today forums, so I know Bev isn’t alone.
A review Posted in Parkinsonism and related disorders in 2003 noted that hair loss is a possible side effect of dopamine agonists or drugs that mimic the effects of dopamine.
As News about Parkinson’s disease today explains: “In Parkinson’s disease, dopamine-producing nerve cells degenerate and die, leading to reduced levels of dopamine in the brain. Thus, body movements cannot be properly regulated and motor function is impaired. Examples of dopamine agonists include pramipexole, ropinirole and apomorphine.
A case report published last year in Tremors and other hyperkinetic movements describes a woman with PD who experienced severe hair loss after taking levodopa/benserazide, propranolol, and topiramate, all of which can be prescribed to treat tremors.
The good news is that drug-induced hair loss is often reversible once the drug is discontinued or replaced under the supervision of a physician. Unfortunately, age-related hair loss usually cannot be reversed. Damn!
However, some strategies can help prevent thinning and hair loss, including washing your hair less often (frequent washing makes hair drier and more brittle, leading to increased hair loss), using volumizers to strengthen strands of hair, limit the use of hair dryers or other heating appliances. tools and eat protein-rich foods.
Due to her age, loss of appetite and swallowing problems related to Parkinson’s disease, Bev prefers a bologna sandwich or sweets with a cup of coffee. I suggested high-protein recipes and explained that this nutrient might strengthen her hair, but tracking it varies. She takes vitamin D and a daily multivitamin, and she only washes her hair once a week.
I also encouraged her to find a hairstylist who can work with thinning hair. Her friend got her one, and I could tell the volumizing cut and style made Bev feel great. I encouraged her to get a haircut from the same stylist every six weeks. She looked sassy!
Many products promise results, but if you or a loved one are concerned about hair loss or thinning, be sure to speak with your healthcare team. Some medications or treatments may need to be changed. You may need a referral to see a dermatologist, as they are experts in diagnosing and treating hair loss.
To note: News about Parkinson’s disease today is strictly a disease news and information site. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or processing. This content is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or processing. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of anything you read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of News about Parkinson’s disease today or its parent company, BioNews, and aim to spark discussion about issues relating to Parkinson’s disease.