What Causes Parkinson’s Disease
No one knows for sure what makes these nerve cells break down. But scientists are doing a lot of research to look for the answer. They are studying many possible causes, including aging and poisons in the environment.
Abnormal genes seem to lead to Parkinson’s disease in some people. But so far, there is not enough proof to show that it is always inherited.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes
In addition to exercising and taking medication, your doctor may suggest you adjust your lifestyle to help you control your symptoms, Positive lifestyle changes include healthy eating, drinking plenty of fluids and attending Parkinsons support groups. You may also want to research home remedies such as massage, tai chi and yoga all of which can be helpful to those with Parkinson’s disease.
Some Of The Services Offered At The Parkinsons Disease Center Of Central Massachusetts Include:
- Prescription medication management
- for motor symptoms
- for non-motor symptoms
We look forward to working with you and showing you why so many Parkinsons disease patients turn to us for care that meets the highest standards.
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Your Home And Lifestyle
- Modify your activities and your home. For example, simplify your daily activities, and change the location of furniture so that you can hold on to something as you move around the house.
- Eat healthy foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.
- Exercise and do physiotherapy. They have benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease.
What Doctors Look For When Diagnosing Parkinsons
Certain physical signs and symptoms noticed by the patient or his or her loved ones are usually what prompt a person to see the doctor. These are the symptoms most often noticed by patients or their families:
Shaking or;tremor: Called resting tremor, a trembling of a hand or foot that happens when the patient is at rest and typically stops when he or she is active or moving
Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement in the limbs, face, walking or overall body
Rigidity: Stiffness in the arms, legs or;trunk
Posture instability: Trouble with balance and possible falls
Once the patient is at the doctors office, the physician:
Takes a medical history and does a physical examination.
Asks about current and past medications. Some medications may cause symptoms that mimic Parkinsons disease.
Performs a neurological examination, testing agility, muscle tone, gait and balance.
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A Unique Resource For Parkinsons Patients
Located within the Reliant Medical Group Neurology Suite at the Worcester Medical Center, the Parkinsons Disease Center of Central Massachusetts provides easily accessible care for those suffering from Parkinsons disease and related disorders. Patients are treated by a team of caregivers, with expertise in both medical and non-medical management.
If You Develop A Tremor
Urgent medical care isn’t needed if you have had a tremorâshaking or tremblingâfor some time. But you should discuss the tremor at your next doctor’s appointment.
If a tremor is affecting your daily activities or if it is a new symptom, see your doctor sooner.
A written description will help your doctor make a correct diagnosis. In writing your description, consider the following questions:
- Did the tremor start suddenly or gradually?
- What makes it worse or better?
- What parts of your body are affected?
- Have there been any recent changes in the medicines you are taking or how much you are taking?
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How To Find The Right Doctors For Parkinson’s Disease
When you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you’ll need to find the right care team. Ideally, you’ll want a team of clinicians who will manage your medical care over the course of the next few years. This team should be headed by a neurologist with expertise in treating Parkinson’s patients.
While you can always change members of the team, putting some amount of thought and planning into assembling the initial team will pay dividends for you down the road if that team can rapidly and effectively address your early symptoms and needs.
The following suggestions will help you to assemble the care team that is best for you, and will also provide some ideas on how best to interact with your care team.
Doctors Who Treat Parkinsons Disease
Primary care physicians are often the first to see patients with symptoms of Parkinsons disease. Symptoms of Parkinsons disease mimic those of other conditions, and Parkinsons disease is widely misdiagnosed. Since early and expert intervention can ensure proper diagnosis and effective treatment, it is important to be evaluated at an advanced brain center as soon as possible.
The multidisciplinary team at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Centers Movement Disorders service expert neurosurgeons along with their team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists, and pain management specialists provide comprehensive, integrated care for patients with Parkinsons disease and many other conditions of the brain. Patients receive a complete continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
We generally begin with nonsurgical, non-invasive options to treat Parkinsons disease, usually managed by one of our expert movement disorders neurologists . For patients who do need surgery, we offer the latest in minimally invasive and non-invasive surgical techniques using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients respond faster, have less pain, and get back to their normal daily activities sooner than they could with older surgical methods.
At the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, patients with Parkinsons disease may also be seen by:
- Associate Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery 718-780-5176
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What Is Parkinsons Disease Definition Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Stages Risk Factors Pathophysiology Medications Treatment
Parkinsons disease is a disorder involving brain that leads to movement and non-movement symptoms in patients. Some of the commonly occurring symptoms of Parkinsons disease include shaking, stiffness, difficulty while walking, coordination issues, and balance problems. The symptoms of Parkinsons disease typically begin slowly and get worse with time. With the progression of disease, people might suffer from difficulties with speech and walking. In addition, the patients with Parkinsons disease also suffer from behavioral and mental changes that include fatigue, memory issues, depressions, and sleep problems. The incidence of Parkinsons disease is higher than the combined diagnosis of other neurological disorders like Lou Gehrigs disease, muscle dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis.
My Top 6 Criteria For Choosing A Doctor
Finding the right doctor who meets your needs as a person with Parkinsons disease can be daunting. I have consulted with 11 neurologists, seven of whom were movement disorder specialists , in the five years since my initial diagnosis in 2015.
Following are my top criteria in choosing what I like to refer to as my partner on this Parkinsons journey:
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Signs Of Parkinsons Via Plasma Tests
For years, researchers have been trying to find ways to predict or diagnose neurodegenerative diseases and cancers through blood and plasma.
For now, there are no labs capable of diagnosing or predicting Parkinsons disease. But, scientists believe they are getting closer.
There are specific biomarkers that appear to be promising for Parkinsons disease treatment.
Where Can I Find Reliable Information On Parkinsons Disease
There are multiple national patient advocacy and research organizations that focus on Parkinsons disease. Some of these include ParkinsonsDisease.net, the Parkinsons Foundation, the American Parkinson Disease Association, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research. The National Institutes of Health and its associated resources are also a reliable source for disease information.
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Alternative Treatments For Parkinson’s Disease
Alternative therapy may also be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. The most touted in recent years has been the effect of Vitamin E on reversing the progression of the disease; although, this effect is still being debated by the scientific community.
Relaxation and guided imagery have also been suggested to help with stress, depression, and anxiety. Medical studies have shown that relaxation and guided imagery may help slow the progression of symptoms as well as quicken healing time after surgeries or injuries.
Parkinson’s Treatments We Offer
There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but treatment at Cedars-Sinai can loosen the grip that symptoms have on your life. Parkinson’s is a progressive illness, meaning your needs change over time. We are here for you with a broad range of options and personalized recommendations.
Therapies that are best for you depend on your symptoms and how long Parkinson’s has been part of your life.
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The Benefits Of An Expert
General neurologists and specialists have a lot more experience diagnosing and treating Parkinsons than a general practitioner. Recent research underscores this point. A 2011 study showed that people newly diagnosed with Parkinsons who went to a neurologist lived longer than those who saw a primary care provider, they were less likely to need placement in a skilled nursing facility and they seemed less likely to have experienced injuries from falls.
Another study that year found that people diagnosed with PD by a neurologist were more likely to receive an anti-PD medication prescription immediately upon diagnosis the standard of care recommended by the American Academy of Neurology than those who were diagnosed by a non-neurologist.
What We Treat In South Florida
The specialists at The Pauline Braathen Neurological Center provide high quality care and treatment for complex neurological conditions. Using a multidisciplinary approach that brings together a team of specialists, we offer medical management and innovative surgical options for patients diagnosed with a variety of movement disorders including:
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Will I Die From This Disease
No! Parkinsons is not a fatal disease. But it does affect your quality of life, and it gets worse over time. As James Beck, vice president for scientific affairs at the Parkinsons Foundation, explains, People who are healthy when diagnosed will generally live about as long as other people in their age cohort. It is not a death sentence. Some of the complications of PD can be serious, however. The CDC rates complications from PD as the 14th leading cause of death in the U.S. Most of the Parkinsons-related deaths occur because of pneumonia, which is more of a risk as people lose their ability to swallow and can inhale food.8 Its important to start treatment early and to get support to keep living a healthy, active lifestyle as long as possible.
Led By A Movement Disorders Specialist
With Parkinsons disease, choices made about treatment can have a major impact on the long-term course of the illness. Therefore, many physicians recommend that Parkinsons patients see a movement disorders specialist early in the course of the disease. Led by Dr. David Sommer, a fellowship-trained neurologist who is a movement disorders specialist, the Parkinsons Disease Center of Central Massachusetts can provide a level of care that truly makes a difference in the daily lives of patients.
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Care Thats Built Around Each Individual Patient
All patients first undergo a standardized assessment and then the effects of the disease are examined within the context of their everyday lives. This allows a treatment plan to be developed that makes the most sense for each individual patient. Managing Parkinsons disease can be complex, but the Parkinsons Disease Center of Central Massachusetts is dedicated to providing world class care that helps patients maximize their function and minimize their disability from this disease.
Consider The Age And Time Factor
Doctors also keep in mind other factors when diagnosing Parkinson’s. For instance:
- The disease is not common in people younger than 50.
- Diagnosing Parkinson’s can be tricky and may take time.
- Other diseases can cause similar symptoms. Your doctor will try to rule out other diseases that mimic Parkinson’s such as .;
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Finding Other Parkinson’s Caregivers
Your neurologist will be your main caregiver for Parkinson’s. But other doctors and therapists will also be important. For instance, you might also see a specialist in internal medicine or geriatrics , a doctor who specializes in treating elderly patients.;
Other caregivers you may see include:
- Speech pathologist: This person can help you use your voice better and improve your speech. Speech pathologists also treat swallowing problems that are common with Parkinson’s.
- Physical therapist: This caregiver can help you maintain muscle strength and stay flexible. Physical therapy also can help relieve pain, improve balance, and prevent falls. You may work with this therapist at a physical therapy center and continue therapy on your own at home.
- Occupational therapist: This therapist can help you remain independent at work and at home. You may learn safer and easier ways to dress, bathe, use devices, and move around your environment.
If Its Not Parkinsons Disease What Could It Be
Here are some possibilities:
Side effects of medication: Certain drugs used for mental illnesses like psychosis or major depression can bring on symptoms like the ones caused by Parkinsonâs disease. Anti-nausea drugs can, too, but they typically happen on both sides of your body at the same time. They usually go away a few weeks after you stop taking the medication.
Essential tremor: This is a common movement disorder that causes shaking, most often in your hands or arms. Itâs more noticeable when youâre using them, like when you eat or write. Tremors caused by Parkinsonâs disease usually happen when youâre not moving.
Progressive supranuclear palsy: People with this rare disease can have problems with balance, which may cause them to fall a lot. They donât tend to have tremors, but they do have blurry vision and issues with eye movement. These symptoms usually get worse faster than with Parkinson’s disease.
Normal pressure hydrocephalus : This happens when a certain kind of fluid builds up in your brain and causes pressure. People with NPH usually have trouble walking, a loss of bladder control, and dementia.
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Mood And Mental Problems
- Deal with depression. If you are feeling sad or depressed, ask a friend or family member for help. If these feelings don’t go away, or if they get worse, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to suggest someone for you to talk to. Or your doctor may give you medicine that will help.
- Deal with dementia. Dementia is common late in Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms may include confusion and memory loss. If you notice that you are confused a lot or have trouble thinking clearly, talk to your doctor. There are medicines that can help dementia in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Where Can I Get More Information And Resources
There are many patient advocacy and research organizations that maintain current, accurate information and patient-education resource libraries. These include:
- The Parkinsons Foundation Library is a curated collection of downloadable PDFs, links, and proceedings from research summits.
- The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers multiple educational resources, from webinars to Q&As to curated publications.
- The American Parkinson Disease Association maintains an education and support webpage featuring downloadable publications, webinars, Q&A opportunities, and links to local resources and support groups.
Seeing A Movement Disorder Specialist
A movement disorder specialist will work closely with your neurologist or current doctor to plan your care and follow-up. A movement disorder specialist also is likely to have relationships with other specialists and allied care professionals;who have experience with PD, including physical, occupational and speech therapists. A team of professionals can help provide more holistic care and address your specific needs.
Even if youve been treated for Parkinsons for some time, you may want to consult a movement disorder specialist to:
- review your current medications and recommend adjustments if needed
- assemble a team of health care professionals who will work together to determine the most appropriate treatment for your changing condition
Hear what our community suggests for;preparing for an MDS appointment.
How Is It Treated
At this time, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. But there are several types of medicines that can control the symptoms and make the disease easier to live with.
You may not even need treatment if your symptoms are mild. Your doctor may wait to prescribe medicines until your symptoms start to get in the way of your daily life. Your doctor will adjust your medicines as your symptoms get worse. You may need to take several medicines to get the best results.
Levodopa is the best drug for controlling symptoms of Parkinson’s. But it can cause problems if you use it for a long time or at a high dose. So doctors sometimes use other medicines to treat people in the early stages of the disease.
The decision to start taking medicine, and which medicine to take, will be different for each person. Your doctor will be able to help you make these choices.
In some cases, a treatment called deep brain stimulation may also be used. For this treatment, a surgeon places wires in your brain. The wires carry tiny electrical signals to the parts of the brain that control movement. These little signals can help those parts of the brain work better.
There are many things you can do at home that can help you stay as independent and healthy as possible. Eat healthy foods. Get the rest you need. Make wise use of your energy. Get some exercise every day. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can also help.
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