You know there is no cure for Parkinson’s but do you know that treatment is a very important aspect of managing the disease? The correct treatment can make you comfortable by decreasing your symptoms so they are more manageable and allow you the most flexibility and movement possible so you can go about living your life to the fullest. Medication is the first option doctors offer as the treatment for Parkinson’s. Other treatment options include surgery, and alternative medicine including occupational and physical therapy.
The medications most often prescribed for Parkinson symptoms are Levodopa, Segeline, and Anticholigernic medications. Levodopa crosses the blood-brain barrier and converts to dopamine in the brain. Segeline is an MAO-B inhibitor; an enzyme causes dopamine to have a longer lasting effect upon the brain. Anticholigernic medications are used to block nerve impulses that control muscle movement and can help to regulate muscle movement.
Surgical Alternatives to Medications:
Medication side effects can be difficult to deal with and sometimes are not enough to counteract the severity of the symptoms so surgical alternatives are then discussed including pallidotomy which is a procedure that destroys cells in the part of the brain that control movement. Pallidotomy reduces involuntary movements by up to 90%. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is when a small metal electrode is placed in the brain to stimulate thalamic, pallidal and subthalamic stimulation. This procedure carries with a risk of stroke and infection.
Speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy can help the individual to learn how to cope with the symptoms and stay active through exercises.
Complementary and alternative therapies offer some relief from the symptoms of the disease and can also slow the progression of the disease. Other alternative therapies include specific nutrition such as essential fatty acids, antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin B complex, vitamin B6, Manganese, amino acids, glutathione, choline, and neurotransmitters made from amino acids. Herbs such as Gotu kola, Ginkgo, Hawthorn, Milk thistle, and St. John’s wort has been shown to be helpful when treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Homeopathy has also been successful such as Argentum nitricum for the loss of muscle coordination, tremors, awkwardness and painless paralysis. Causticum for restless legs and muscle contractures. Mercurius vivus for panic attacks. Plumbum metallicum for arteriosclerosis and zincum metallicum for restlessness and depression.
Other alternative medicines used for Parkinson’s include massage to help with increasing circulation and decreasing the muscle spasms common with Parkinson’s, and chelation therapy if there is heavy metal toxicity or environmental toxins and also acupuncture to help with the tremors.
It is important for individuals with Parkinson’s disease to stay as active as possible because exercise will help you to improve your mobility.
Individuals with Parkinson’s will need to be constantly monitored by a medical professional because Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, which means it is constantly changing and so the treatment needs to change with it. Medication therapy often becomes less effective over time so doses need to be adjusted or the medication changed.