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Parkinson’s Treatment

AA variety of Parkinson’s treatment options exist that are useful in alleviating symptoms. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that progressively affects the central nervous system. Its effects can be devastating not only to the patient but also to close family

Parkinson's Treatment

Parkinson’s Treatment


Basic indicators of Parkinson’s disease are sluggish movements, rigid muscles, tremor and difficulty in retaining balance. This is a  gradually advancing disease  much like osteoporosis. It is thought to arise from depletion of dopamine levels. Dopamine is a chemical that activates the brain cells responsible for movement. No cure exists for the condition, though some  Parkinson’s treatment reportedly reverses symptoms.

Parkinson’s Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment

Parkinson’s treatment involves both the alleviation of primary and secondary symptoms. Many patients with Parkinson’s do not suffer all these symptoms. The disease progresses differently in different patients. Most patients with Parkinson’s disease are usually  over 60 years old. However in recent times, the condition has been diagnosed in younger men and women.

Disrupted motor functions are the main symptoms of this disease. Apart from affecting  muscles responsible for movement, other patients may have additional symptoms. These may include mood changes, memory lapses, energy saps and general pain. Some primary symptoms that require Parkinson’s treatment include:

  • Tremors – These are experienced in the chin, foot, forearms, fingers, hands or mouth. Most instances of tremors occur when the body is at rest. In rare cases, it may happen while in movement.
  • Rigidity- This can also be referred to as stiff muscles. It results in pain especially during movement.
  • Slow movement or Bradykinesia – This results in slow voluntary movements due to delays in signal transmissions to the muscles from the brain. Movements involved include walking, sitting down and standing up. Such delays may result in difficulty in initiating walking.  In advanced cases, “freezing episodes” during walking may arise.
  • Poor balance- This eventually occurs once the reflexes that stabilize posture have  diminished. Unsteady balance is then inevitable, leading to falls. Parkinson’s treatment is aimed at improving motor symptoms like these.
Parkinson's Treatment

Parkinson’s Treatment

Secondary symptoms that may respond to  Parkinson’s treatment  include:

  • Choking, coughing,drooling or excessive salivation and difficulty swallowing
  • Anxiety, isolation and depression
  • Sweating and soft whispery voice
  • Constipation, loss over bladder or bowel control
  • Loss of Normal intellect and slow response to queries
  • Scaling on the face and dry skin even on scalp
  • Handwriting that is small and cramped

Parkinson’s disease stages diagnosis progression cannot be done using any lab tests. Specific neurological exams gauge muscle movement, muscle strength, coordination and balance. Conditions like nerve dysfunction, tremors and narrowing of the spinal canal, can be ruled out using such tests. Other recommended tests may include urine or blood tests. MRI or CT scans are also employed to eliminate other possible disorders.

Common Medications for Parkinson’s Treatment

  • Entacapone Comtan When Simemet begins losing effect, this medication boosts it effectiveness. Stalevo is a combined product of Levodopa and carbidopa

    Parkinson's Treatment

    Parkinson’s Treatment

  • Levodopa Carbidopa (Sinemet) : This medicine combines Levodopa a chemical absent in patient suffering Parkinson’s disease. The other chemical Carbidopa aids levodopa to access the brain. It initially controls many patients symptoms. Its potency wanes after several years and drug side effects can be experienced eventually.
  • Dopamine agonist. This combines Requip or ropinorole and pramipaxole (Mirapex), These medications offer Parkinson’s disease treatment options that by stimulating the body to produce more dopamine. They have less drug side effects in the long-term compared to levodopa. They also retain effectiveness for extended periods. Some drug side effects include dizziness and hallucinations, particularly in elderly patients with dementia. These properties make the agonist more conducive in progression treatment programs for younger patients. Some theoretical evidence suggests that Parkinson’s treatment using agonist, may retard disease progression. However this has not be proven categorically.
  • Mono-amine oxidase inhibitors: Eldepryl, Selegiline and Zelapar are some examples of these  Parkinson’s treatment medications. Though less commonly used, they boost dopamine levels in the brain. In a limited number of patients that need individualized treatment, they are very effective. Compared to dopamine agonist, they have less side-effects. However, when combined with other medications like antidepressants, they can be harmful. Combining these medications with certain diets may also lead to elevated blood pressure levels.

Other Beneficial Parkinson’s Treatment Options

Certain precautions are recommended to keep Parkinson’s patients safe and healthy.

  • Physical therapy: These  Parkinson’s treatment  programs carry many benefits.
  • Exercise: This natural Parkinson’s treatment  therapy can be used effectively to ease symptoms. Observations have revealed that patients that exercise regularly perform better than those who don’t. Physical activities that quicken the heart rate are recommended.
  • Group wellness programs- These programs and support groups strengthen patients with Parkinson’s disease by enabling them to share experiences. This Parkinson’s treatment therapy prevents isolation and loneliness that is usually rampart among these patients.
Parkinson's Treatment

Parkinson’s Treatment

Before embarking on any exercise routines, consult your doctor. Strive to pursue Parkinson’s treatment  that involves occupational therapy, apart from physical therapy. Don’t forget to exercise your face and jaw as frequently as possible. Stretching, bending and breathing exercises should also be incorporated into your routines.

If exercising on the floor proves difficult, try bed exercises. Harness your walking skills even by holding onto someone or something. Try some water exercises, these are gentler on the joints. Such exercise programs are available in hospitals, fitness centers, YMCA s, colleges and YWCA s

Fit your tub and shower with grab bars for patient safety. A chair or stool is also recommended in the shower. Avoid slippery floors, slippers or socks, instead get low heeled, perfectly fitting shoes. While walking, keep off clutter filled areas and ensure stair wells are properly lit.

Arrange with your doctor for a safety evaluation around the home. Install easy reach cabinets. Your carpets should also be securely tucked into the floor.

Cut you meals into little portions to enhance digestion and avoid choking. Maintain an upright position after taking your meals. In case you experience stomach upsets after your medications, snack on a little non-protein based foods, then take your medications. Protein may inhibit your body’s ability to absorb levodopa (Sinemet). Avoid Sinemet 30 minutes to an hour before taking beef or other protein rich foods.

Surgical Parkinson’s treatment options are available. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is the most common form of surgery. It is used to minimize muscle rigidity, severity and slowness in movements. A wire is connected to the brain which is then connected to a pacemaker-like device. For Parkinson’s treatment using Deep Brain Stimulation, the pacemaker like device is implanted underneath the skin within the chest.

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