Parkinson’s disease treatment options.
Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Control
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) helps individuals with involuntary movements or erratic responses to prolonged levodopa treatment, a common Parkinson’s therapy. Surgeons place tiny electrodes in a specific basal ganglia region to control movement. These electrodes, pinpointed by MRI or CT scans, deliver small electric currents to reduce tremors. DBS significantly cuts down involuntary movements and “off” periods, but specialized centers offer it due to its complexity.
Focused ultrasound surgery, a non-invasive method, targets and destroys affected brain areas with ultrasound waves, guided by MRI. Some regions practice removing or destroying parts of the brain through surgery to alleviate symptoms. If these methods fail, doctors may consider DBS in different brain areas.
Stem Cell Research Limitations
Research has shown stem cell transplantation in the brain as ineffective and risky for Parkinson’s treatment.
Mental Symptom Management
To manage mental symptoms from Parkinson’s or its treatment, doctors prescribe antipsychotics like quetiapine, clozapine, and pimavanserin. These drugs, especially pimavanserin, do not require regular blood tests or aggravate Parkinson’s symptoms. Antidepressants, particularly SSRIs and other non-anticholinergic drugs, address depression with fewer side effects, improving quality of life and possibly delaying institutional care.
Supporting Caregivers and Planning for the Future
Lastly, As Parkinson’s progresses, patients need more help with daily tasks. Caregivers should learn about the disease and care strategies to ease their burden, with support groups providing additional support. Advanced stages might necessitate nursing home care due to severe disability and risks like aspiration pneumonia. Early advance directive planning ensures patients’ end-of-life wishes are respected.
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