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Comprehensive Guide to Parkinson's Disease Treatment Options

Feb 11, 2024
Discover the latest in Parkinson's disease treatment, from deep brain stimulation (DBS) and focused ultrasound surgery to managing mental health symptoms and providing essential caregiver support. Explore how these approaches offer hope and improved quality of life for those affected by Parkinson's.
Homed-Comprehensive Guide to Parkinson's Disease Treatment Options

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.

Alternative Treatments

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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