Urinary function is governed by the body’s autonomic nervous system, which regulates automatic body functions such as bowel and bladder control and blood pressure, among others. In Parkinson’s, each of those systems can be thrown off balance, but urinary problems aren’t always recognized by patients or their physicians.
In this podcast by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, Janis Miyasaki, MD, MEd, FRCPC, FAAN, who cares for people with Parkinson’s at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, talks about urinary problems in Parkinson’s.
“Often physicians are not attuned to this symptom and don’t systematically ask. And if we don’t ask, the patients often don’t volunteer because they don’t associate their bladder problems with their brain problems,” says Dr Miyasaki.
“For many women, they’re often told that this is a function of aging, and men are often told that this is probably just your prostate. So it is important for the patient to be aware of this, be proactive, bring it to their neurologist’s attention or the primary care physician’s attention and actually seek out a urologist who is familiar with Parkinson’s disease.”