According to a recently published study in Neurology (and summarized for the lay reader in Medical News Today), people with Parkinson’s disease need to watch out for weight loss, especially right after they are diagnosed.
As Medical News Today says in its banner heading:
People with Parkinson’s disease who lose weight may be more likely to develop dementia and have a shorter lifespan….
The experiment described in Neurology involved tracking 515 participants (240 controls, 187 with PD, 88 with atypical parkinsonism) for five to ten years. As the study’s abstract notes, “Weight loss occurring within 1 year of diagnosis was independently associated with increased risk of dependency…, dementia…, and death.”
The implication is that right after you’re diagnosed with PD, you should increase your calorie intake if you start to lose weight, to avoid the three “D’s”: dependency (on care takers), dementia and death.
Again, to quote from Medical News Today:
…the team found that early weight loss among individuals with Parkinson’s disease or atypical parkinsonism was independently associated with a 2.23-times increased risk of dementia and a 1.23-times greater risk of death.
Additionally, weight loss in the first year after a Parkinson’s or atypical parkinsonism diagnosis was associated with greater dependency on carers.
Of course, I put the picture of the mouth-watering, high calorie dessert at the top of this post. But if you take the advice seriously, you should probably increase your calories with healthy foods, like carrot juice, 100% fruit juices that are high in calories (e.g., grape juice), sweet potatoes, and second helpings of whole grain pastas.
And enjoy scrumptious desserts occasionally because they make you happy.