3 Approaches To Managing Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that is generally considered to be caused by low levels of dopamine, which is an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Although there is no cure, a combination of treatment approaches can reduce the symptoms of PD.

1. Medication

Levodopa is by far the most commonly used medication in the treatment of PD. This medication helps increase the amount of dopamine available to the brain and can reduce undesirable motor symptoms. Due to unpleasant side effects, levodopa is combined with another medication, carbidopa, which reduces nausea and vomiting while decreasing the amount of levodopa needed to be effective.

Since the long-term use of levodopa is not without concern, doctors might prescribe other dopamine agonists in the earlier stages of PD. With long-term use, levodopa can cause uncontrollable movements and its effectiveness may be sporadic throughout the day. In some cases, a sustained-release version of levodopa can provide a more consistent supply of medication with less sporadic effective and ineffective episodes.

2. Deep-Brain Stimulation

Deep-brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that may be used when PD medications are no longer working or in people who might be more treatment-resistant. With DBS, an electrode is inserted into parts of the brain responsible for the symptoms associated with PD. Once the ideal location is found, surgeons can adjust the intensity of the electrode to give the right amount of stimulation. DBS can be thought of as a pacemaker for the brain.

The electrical impulses help stop the abnormal neurological activity that contributes to the movement problems seen in PD. In DBS, the electrodes are connected to a small battery pack that is surgically implanted in the chest. Other types of surgery used for PD is the implantation of a device to directly administer levodopa to the small intestines. An external pump can provide a continuous supply of medication.

3. Exercise

Exercise is used as an adjunctive therapy to medication and/or surgery and can help people with PD reduce some of their movement symptoms and possibly slow the progression of the condition. Doing any form of exercise will have benefits, but incorporating exercises that include strength and flexibility are especially helpful. It may be helpful to find a trainer or other professional who has experience working with people who have PD to avoid injury. Strength-training can be performed with exercise bands, but even more intimidating forms of building strength, such as powerlifting, can be used.

Generally, people with PD might try alternatives to some of the most common powerlifting exercises. For example, they may not do a conventional or sumo deadlift, but they might do a stiff-leg deadlift if they do not have significant flexibility. Additionally, traditional squats may not be possible, but box squats are an option.

In some cases, early treatment of PD can slow the progression of the disease and help people maintain their independence. Generally, a combination of treatments may provide the most benefits. For more information, contact your local neurological services and treatment center. 

About Me

Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant

About six months ago, my wonderful father discovered he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. At this time, his doctor informed him he would need to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. My dad’s physician also told him he would need to have a stem cell transplant immediately after he completed the chemotherapy. To prepare for the stem cell transplant, my father was put on a special diet. His doctor recommended he eat a lot of protein. My dad was also told to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. On this blog, I hope you will learn smart tips to help you or one of your loved ones prepare for a stem cell transplant. Enjoy!


Latest Posts

11 June 2024
If you or a loved one is suffering from cataracts, you may be considering cataract eye surgery as a solution. Cataracts can cause blurry vision, diffi

5 April 2024
As a pilot, your health is of utmost importance not only for your own well-being but also for the safety of everyone on board your plane. The FAA's HI

8 February 2024
In an age where corporate integrity sways the court of public opinion and productivity is a non-negotiable currency, drug testing remains a critical t