While there is no cure for Parkinsons at this time, there are a number of treatments that can ease symptoms. Parkinsons medications are the mainstay of treatment, but modalities are often used in combination. Physical, occupational and speech therapy can be critical to the treatment plan. Surgical options also have an important role for a subset of patients with Parkinsons disease. Finally, complementary therapies can be used to treat some Parkinsons disease symptoms. Your physician and other healthcare professionals can help you determine the best treatment plan for your symptoms.
Medication can help control the symptoms of Parkinsons disease, as well as their potential side effects.
You can also read APDAs published supplements on Parkinsons medication:
Physical, occupational and speech therapists can be important partners in the treatment of Parkinsons disease. Physical therapy can improve your gait and direct you to the right exercise regimen. Occupational therapy can be helpful to maximize your fine motor skills. Speech therapy can be useful to address speech and language barriers that may arise with Parkinsons disease.
Some patients with Parkinsons disease may benefit from deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical therapy that has been FDA approved for over a decade. DBS involves implanting an electrode into a targeted area of the brain, usually the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or the globus pallidus interna (GPI). The implants can be done on one side or both sides of the brain as needed. The electrodes are stimulated through a connection to a pacemaker-like device located under the skin in the chest. Patients that are considered good candidates for this procedure are those with a robust response to Levodopa, no significant cognitive or psychiatric problems, and no significant problems with balance. The procedure can help patients with medication-resistant tremors. It can also help patients who have significant motor fluctuations in which medication response varies during the day and dyskinesias or extra movements may occur as a side effect of medication.
A healthy diet can increase energy, maximize the potential of medications, and promote overall well-being. Click here to review a Webinar entitled Living Well Everyday which reviews the principles of good nutrition for Parkinsons disease.
A proper exercise program can include cardiorespiratory exercise (fitness training), resistance exercises (strength training), flexibility exercises (stretching) and gait and balance training. Read more about exercise and Parkinsons in APDAs Be Active guide.
Click here to review the Webinar entitled Staying Healthy, Keeping Fit for even more information on exercise and PD.
Complementary medicine incorporates many different practices that can be used alongside conventional medicine to try to ease PD symptoms. There is typically not as much rigorous data to support the use of complementary medicine techniques, as compared to conventional medicine, but many patients find them helpful. These include yoga and massage.
Clinical trials and their participants have revolutionized Parkinsons treatment, and have changed the lives dramatically of those affected. They have helped make available many new treatments in addition to improving the delivery methods of medications and new deep brain stimulation techniques.
Clinical trials are essential to the future of Parkinsons research, and APDA is committed to this vital effort.
Assembling a team that will provide you with physical and emotional support and adapt to your needs over time is one of the best ways to remain healthy. Parkinsons disease is complex and requires an interdisciplinary approach to care. The care team may include, but is not limited to:
The doctor you choose to treat your Parkinsons disease should be someone with whom you can develop a good partnership.
To get a more in-depth understanding of Parkinsons disease, its effect on the lives of those who have it, and how it can be treated, follow the links below:
See more here:
Treatment & Medication | American Parkinson Disease Assoc.
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