Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder which does not have a cure yet. But, there are many treatment options including medication, therapy and Deep Brain Stimulation to reduce the symptoms of the disease. But, people often find it difficult to find the right treatment option for themselves as Parkinson’s Disease hits every person differently. This leaves them with many questions related to its treatment and life management as the disease progresses. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to treatment and management of Parkinson’s Disease.
Ques1. Can patients with early onset Parkinson’s Disease drive a car?
Ans 1. Parkinson’s Disease is a type of movement disorder that can significantly impair driving skills, cause safety concerns and force many people with the condition to stop driving a car. That’s because the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease like shaking, tremor and slowed movements can seriously interfere with the tasks of driving a car. However, symptoms might be controlled by medications, especially early in the disease. Please contact your Parkinson specialist to know if you can drive or not.
Ques2. Which is the best hospital for Parkinson’s Disease treatment in India?
Ans2. In India, a few hospitals have end-to-end management for Parkinson’s Disease. They run specialty movement disorder clinics and also provide Deep Brain Stimulation treatment on a regular basis. To contact a Parkinson’s Disease specialist near you, visit www.parkinsons.co.in.
Ques3. From a technical view, how does deep brain stimulation work in Parkinson’s Disease?
Ans3. Deep Brain Stimulation has helped thousands of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Across the globe there are more than 150,000 patients with DBS. In DBS, neurosurgeons guide a fine wire electrode into brain regions involved in motor control. The DBS device uses a small, pacemaker-like device placed under the skin of the chest to send electronic signals to an area in the brain that controls movement. To give you relief, these signals block some of the brain messages that cause the movement symptoms. For many patients, DBS makes a huge difference when even small tasks become challenging as it dramatically reduces tremor, rigidity and other motor symptoms that characterize the disease.
Ques 4. Does Parkinson’s Disease affect the breathing centers of the brain?
Ans 4. No, Parkinson’s Disease does not affect the breathing centers of the brain that are typically controlled at the brain-stem level. Rigidity, slow movements, tremor, weakness and fatigue are the motor symptoms most commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Ques 5. What is the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s Disease?
Ans 5. The pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease is still considered to be unknown. It is said to be the death of dopaminergic neurons as a result of changes in biological activity in the brain. What exactly causes these cells to die is something that scientists are still not sure of, although the suspicion is that environmental factors and genes could be playing a part in it. Symptoms worsen over time as more and more of the cells affected by the disease are lost. The course of the disease is highly variable, with some patients exhibiting very few symptoms as they age and others whose symptoms progress rapidly. Damage to these various neuronal systems account for the multi-faceted pathophysiologic changes that cause impairments not just to the motor system but also to the cognitive and neuropsychological systems.
Ques 6. What are proven facts about Parkinson’s Disease and stem cell treatment?
Ans 6. There are a lot of myths about Parkinson’s disease but there are some clearly stated facts too.
- Parkinson’s Disease is not just an ”old person’s disease.
- “Parkinson’s Disease isn’t just marked by tremors and other outward symptoms.
- Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease isn’t simple.
- Treatment should be tailored to your symptoms and your preferences.
- Exercise & healthy lifestyle can help you take better control of your life.
- Stress can make the condition worse and talking to people about the condition can ease it.
- Depression may affect more than half of all patients and anxiety affects about 40 percent.
- Treatment is available to take care of most of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
- Some treatment options such as Deep Brain Stimulation have shown significant results in patients.
Ques 7. What is the relationship between Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease?
Ans 7. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) and the dopaminergic neurons play an important role in both schizophrenia and Parkinson’s Disease (PD). A decrease in DA in the substantia nigra of the brain has been implicated as the cause of PD. By contrast, it is argued that a functional excess of DA or over sensitivity of certain DA receptors is one of the factors causing schizophrenia. These factors are reflected in the treatment of both conditions. While for Parkinson’s Disease patients DA level increasing medicines are prescribed, Schizophrenia patients are prescribed medicines to reduce the DA levels.
Ques 8. How do I comfort someone diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease who is in extreme discomfort from medicines and sees no hope?
Ans 8. Talk to them and know their state of mind. Make sure that they are visiting a Parkinson Disease specialist. . Do ask about all treatment options, exercises, physiotherapy and long term treatment plan. Ask their doctor if they can benefit from this surgery as it has shown good results in rightly selected patients. When medications and other treatments stop showing the same effects, Deep Brain Stimulation can help the patients get relief from the symptoms and bring back the lost hope.
Ques 9. Can a child get Parkinson’s Disease?
Ans 9. Parkinson’s Disease is mostly diagnosed in patients over the age of 60. But there are many patients with young-onset Parkinson’s Disease (diagnosed before the age of 50). Juvenile Parkinson’s Disease in patients under the age of 20 is extremely rare. Childhood onset of Parkinsonism is almost always due to either a genetic cause or due to another injury such as a stroke or brain injury.
Ques 10. What are the best drugs to treat Parkinson’s Disease?
Ans 10. There are various drugs to treat Parkinson’s Disease belonging to following classes:
- Dopamine agonists
- MAO-B inhibitors
- Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors.
Please consult your medical professional for a detailed evaluation and treatment options.
Ques11. Is meditation effective for treating Parkinson’s Disease?
Ans 11. Meditation is very effective, especially in early stages when treating Parkinson’s Disease. Yoga and Meditation help in preventing mental decline of a patient. Please consult your medical professional for a detailed evaluation and treatment options.
Ques12. How is pain treated in Parkinson’s Disease?
Ans 12. Dopamine agonists are often the neurologist’s first weapon to alleviate Parkinson’s-related pain. Levodopa is used to treat many types of pain due to Parkinson’s such as rigidity and dystonia. Other medicines called analgesics can also be used to treat pain. Please consult your medical professional for a detailed evaluation and treatment options.