Archive for the ‘Dementia Care’ Category
Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, its symptoms can be treated with different types of medication. The first important decision facing the patient and their physicians is when to start treatment. When symptoms are extremely problematic, medication may not be necessary, particularly because there are signs that early treatment can increase the likelihood of side effects and other complications later. Treatment usually begins when symptoms interfere with work or handling household chores and other activities, or when it starts to have problems with walking and balance.
The medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease increases levels of dopamine in the brain and mimics the effects of dopamine. The most commonly used medicine for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is levodopa (Doping, Larodopa), a drug that is converted to dopamine in the brain. Levodopa is usually prescribed along with carbidopa (Sinemet) to increase the amount of active drug that reaches the brain, while helping to limit side effects.
Almost all patients with Parkinson’s disease improve after they start taking levodopa. However, prolonged use of levodopa causes any side effects and complications in 75% of patients. Physicians often need to adjust the dose of levodopa and the time intervals between doses for the person to continue taking the drug. Read the rest of this entry »
Your doctor will examine you and pay special attention to neurological examination. Look for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, especially the classic Parkinson’s disease tremor, slow movement, rigidity and gait problems.
There is no procedure for the diagnosis or specific laboratory tests for diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. For this reason, doctors diagnose Parkinson’s disease based on symptoms and results of physical and neurological examinations. If a patient’s symptoms improve after the patient is medicated Parkinson’s disease, the diagnosis is probably correct. Read the rest of this entry »
Parkinson’s disease usually manifests with a slight tremor or tension in the arm or leg on one side of the body. The tremor is most evident at rest and is regular, typically occurs three to six times per second. The tremor of Parkinson’s disease usually gets worse with stress, improves when an arm or leg moves on its own will and could disappear during sleep.
During the early stages, Parkinson’s disease may occur only with a tremor that affects the thumb and forefinger. This tremor, tremor is sometimes called “count coins” because it resembles the tremor when a person’s own handling small objects like a coin.
As the disease worsens, the tremor may spread more and ultimately affect the extremities of both sides. The person may begin to write in print, shaky and eventually illegible. Besides the classic tremor, Parkinson’s disease often causes tension or stiffness in the muscles of the arms and legs and a slowing of body movements, called bradykinesia. Read the rest of this entry »