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07/10/2013

Commonly Prescribed Medications

Parkinson's medications are divided up into two categories: medications for motor symptoms and medications for non-motor symptoms. We ask that you consult with your physician or neurologist when considering which medications are most appropriate for you.

Parkinson’s Disease Medications for Non-Motor Symptoms

Non-motor medications may include vitamin supplements, such as CoQ10, and medications prescribed for behavioral health. A list of non-motor medications used to treat Parkinson's is not provided simply because the list is quite extensive. We recommend referring to the National Parkinson Foundation Medications document for a more thorough description of medications.

Medications for Motor Symptoms

(bradykinesia, rigidity, tremorand postural instability)

Generic name / (Brand names)

  • Levodopa / (Simenet, Parcopa)
  • Dopamine agonists / (Requip, Mirapex, Apokyn)
  • MAO-B inhibitors / (Selegiline, Eldepryl, Azilect, Zelepar)
  • COMT-Inhibitors / (Comtan, Tasmar)
  • Amantadine / (Symmetrel)
  • Anti-cholinergies / (Trihexyphenidyl, Benztropine or Cogentin)
07/10/2013

Parkinson’s Disease alternative therapies  are becoming more commonplace and accepted. Examples include, acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal remedies, magnetic therapy and massage. Before embarking on an alternative therapy, it is recommended you speak with your doctor.

Yoga

Yoga is one of the best things you can do to improve your strength, balance and posture. Not only will you begin to see improvement physically, but your mental health will improve as well.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is recognized as a viable treatment for various illnesses and conditions. Currently studies are being conducted to determine if acupuncture can relieve symptoms of fatigue in Parkinson's patients.

Massage

Parkinson's disease typically causes muscle stiffness and rigidity, individuals who utilize massage therapy find it helps to alleviate joint and muscle stiffness.

Resources:

07/10/2013

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment involving implantation of electrodes into core structures of the brain. These electrodes are then connected to a programmable pacemaker-like device implanted under the skin in the chest wall. The Food and Drug Administration approved DBS as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease in 2002, and while it does not cure the disease, it can improve the management of many of the motor symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Is DBS Right For You?

The conditions that most commonly respond to DBS are motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. Motor fluctuations are often seen after several years of medical management, and are often described as “turning on” and “turning off” many times a day as medication levels fluctuate. DBS is often effective in reducing “off time”, and in reducing the amount of medication required to achieve “on” states.

Dyskinesias are involuntary movements that are often described as “writhing” or “squirming” movements. Levodopa-induced dyskiesias are seen in Parkinson’s disease, often emerging after several years of medical therapy. DBS can reduce the amount of medication required to maintain an “on” state, and can thus lessen medication-related dyskinesias.

Risks of DBS

DBS carries the risks of major neurologic surgery, with a small risk of severe complications including hemorrhage into the brain, and infection, which could require removal of the system.

DBS is not successful in treating all symptoms of PD. Most non-motor symptoms of the disease, including cognitive decline, would not be expected to respond to DBS. In addition, balance problems and freezing of gait are typically less responsive to surgery than symptoms of tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia. With DBS, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and to determine if DBS is a good treatment option, each patient should have a thorough evaluation and discussions with an experienced neurologist and surgical team regarding the risks, likely benefits, alternatives, and expectations.

Check out a short video on Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).

View former Rockies player, Ben Petrick's testimony of his experience with DBS surgery.

For more information on DBS