Is it possible that the onset of Parkinsons can be triggered by shock?

I have been thinking back to the days when I was me and trying to figure out how long this thing called Parkinsons has been lurking in the shadows waiting to strike. I suspect quite a time before I was diagnosed which was about 5 years ago.

I wonder whether the unexpected shock of my daughter's marriage break up, followed shortly after by discovering she was expecting her first and only child could have triggered this. Her husband fitted into our family since the first day we met him and had become an important member - like a second son. The day he left all our lives changed for ever and life became a constant battle trying to help our daughter. I was with her when my grandaughter was born when she almost lost her life and the baby ended up in special care. Thankfully, they both lived to tell the tale.

This was almost 9 years ago and our daughter is still on her own, so our support is still essential and constant. I have started to wonder whether this occurrence could have triggered the onset of my Parkinsons, which must have been waiting for an opportunity to strike.

I believe we all carry a cancer gene, which lies dormant in most people. Could the same apply to Parkinsons, I wonder?

Sue :-)

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  • whar a thought provoking statement ... i wonder if it does happen like that but i have has so many shocks in my life and i only got dx in 2010 although looking back i had a load of symptoms for 2/3 years before that ..

  • Yes, the same applies to me. I have had a lot of shocks and difficult times in my life, but wondered whether maybe this could have been the straw that broke the camels back - so to speak.

    There must be a reason why we all suffer with Parkinsons and I need an answer. I am not saying - why me for a sympathy vote, I really want to know if only I could protect my children from a similar diagnosis.

  • hear hear .. xx

  • There have been studies done that found a correlation between stress (immediate shock followed by chronic stress) and the onset of neurological disease, particularly MS.

    I think however, the variable that is not predictable is the individual's unique manifestation of the chronic stress. The key I suppose is how we cope--or how we try to guide our children to cope with life.

  • I have wondered the same.

    I had several major stresses, but being 1,000 miles from my husband and children (who I home educated...was use to being together every day) for 6 weeks, watching my mother die, and working with her husband of 2 years was VERY stressful.

    In looking back I believe my symptoms started at that time.

    I know that every one has stress, we all handle stress differently and our bodies all react differently to stress.

  • I've thought a lot about that as well. I retired early because of my husband's health. We puchased a home in AZ prior to retirement because his quality of life was so much better at a lower altitude. We had lived in Colorado all our lives so it was a tough move away from family and friends. In addition to that my mother broke both of her wrists two nights before we left. Then several months later she passed away. I became depressed and could not forgive myself for not being there, though her husband and the rest of the family were there for her. A couple of months later I was diagnosed with PD.

  • I certainly think research should go this way. I am sure all this is true ...;we probably share in having a predisposition t it- I have always been inflexible muscle wise as well as perhaps mentally-strong opinions;;

    I also can trace the onset to life changes and stress- also to menopause- change of cholesteerol, borderline diabetes, thyroid -hormones!

    My symptoms have emerged since the death of my brother 2 years ago -the last member of my immediate family..Both seem to have had made a dramatic change in me.

  • Yes, my doctor confirms. Holocaust survivors e.g. have a higher percentage of PD. I'm sure I was slowly developing it since my 50's but when my son died of mixed drug toxicity, I rapidly developed symptoms. To the extent my GP told me, it's just grief, go on a retreat (which I did but still had PD!)

  • Thanks for sharing.

  • I think it is true in the case of my father. He was also told by the doctors who diagnosed him that there is theory that suggests this. He went through a long struggle with his first wife suffering from cancer and alcoholism who died after a long battle, then after having myself dealing with his second wife leaving him. He also destroyed his estate and has had the stress of not being able to make ends meet ever since.

    He was working into his 60's and wasn't earning enough money to make ends meet and it was when he was working he was diagnosed with it, as over the years I think all the stress and large life events had finally come to surface and caught up with him.

    We do not have a single family member that we know of in our blood line who suffered Parkinsons. I believe it is likely to be caused more by stress than being inheritable.

    As DiCan says, we all have our own ways and our bodies have their own ways of dealing with stress. So we react different.

  • Hi Court

    I have a strong belief that trauma has a part to play with the onset of Parkinsons for some people.

    Does anyone know of any studies associated with this?

    I think there are many psychological states that show themselves in our body.

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