3 Treatment Options for Parkinson's Disease

May 7th 2016

The progressive nature of Parkinson's disease significantly impacts daily activities that require mobility. Patients often experience stiffness, uncontrollable tremors and slower movements. Prescribed medications, surgery and rehabilitation therapy provide relief for patients who desire to maintain independence, active lifestyles and healthy mental states. Treatment for Parkinson's disease focuses on managing the symptoms of the disease and improving the quality of life for patients diagnosed with a life-threatening illness for which researchers have yet to find a cure.

Medications

Treatment plans for Parkinson's disease focus on improving mobility and function, posture, balance, speech and writing skills for patients. Prescribed medications can work to combat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and help patients maintain mental sharpness while reducing the rigidity and tremors that commonly occur as the disease progress. A team of physicians may recommend medications such as Dopar, Mirapex, Larodopa or Tasmar, in addition to new medications that develop as technology advances. Some patients may not experience progress or relief with prescribed medications, and it may be necessary to switch to a different medication to see results or improvements with movement, mobility and function.

Surgery

When prescribed medications do not effectively treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, physicians may recommend a medical procedure or surgery. Doctors consider a patient's medical history, symptoms and health before recommending medical procedures. Common procedures include deep brain stimulation, thalamotomy, gamma knife or pallidotomy to reduce sudden movements and mobility restrictions caused by nerve damage. Some patients opt for a transplantation of fetal dopamine neurons, also known as a tissue transplant, within the brain to encourage regrowth of healthy nerve cells.

Rehabilitation Therapy

Rehabilitation therapy can be an effective treatment option for patients with Parkinson's disease. Occupational therapists and physical therapists help patients relearn movement strategies such as rolling over to get out of bed or rising out of a chair without the assistance of a mobile aid. Rehabilitation therapy also helps patients with Parkinson's disease find ways to cook, button shirts and use utensils despite serious tremors that can inhibit daily movements and mobility. Speech therapy is also part of rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson's disease. Rehabilitation therapy is designed to help patients maintain independence, increase strength and endurance, and elevate the mood to decrease the anxiety that is often associated with Parkinson's disease.

Conclusion

Treatment plans for Parkinson's disease vary for each person based on the severity of symptoms, overall health conditions, gender and age. A cure does not exist for the disease as of 2015, but treatment options can help treat the symptoms of Parkinson's and improve the overall quality of life for patients.

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