About Parkinson’s disease

From diagnostic services to individual and family counseling, we are here to provide the Alzheimer’s care our patient and their caregivers need.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition, which leads to depletion of the neurochemical and dopamine and affects movement. Over time, Parkinson’s disease can also affect thinking abilities and mood.

Symptoms

Parkinson’s disease symptoms include:

  • Shaking in the hands or fingers
  • Slowed motor movements
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty initiating movement
  • Poor balanace
  • Stooped posture
  • Slower walking or dragging feet when walking
  • Changes in speech including lowered voice volume and hesitations when talking
  • Reduced facial expressions
  • Changes in memory, concentration or judgment
  • Changes in attention, problem-solving, memory and visuospatial skills
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression or anxiety

Diagnosis

There currently is no single diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease.

To diagnose, our patient care team may use a few of the following tests:

  • Neurological and physical exam
  • Assessment of memory and thinking skills
  • Brain scans
  • Blood tests

Treatment

Currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are several medications to help manage symptoms. Levodopa, in combination with carbidopa, increase dopamine, which is diminished in Parkinson’s disease. Other types of medications, including dopamine agonists and COMT inhibitors, can also be used to help improve symptom management. Surgical treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, can reduce motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. Physical and occupational therapy can be helpful for improving balance, increasing mobility and preventing falls. Speech therapy can also help treat difficulties with swallowing, lowered voice volume and language production. Lifestyle changes such as aerobic exercise can also improve symptom management.

Causes and risks

The exact causes of Parkinson’s are unknown.
Risk factors include:

  • Family history
    • The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease increases with the more relatives in your family diagnosed with the disease.
  • Age
    • People usually develop Parkinson’s disease around the age of 60 or older.
  • Gender
    • Men have an increased risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s than women.

Interested in learning more about neurodegenerative diseases?

Join us for our educational series, Dialogue on Dementia, featuring renowned physicians and scientists for dialogue on research regarding the onset and progression of dementia, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Learn more

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210-450-9960