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Archive: May 2017

Ask the Expert: Deep Brain Stimulation

Date: 05.31.2017

The Parkinson Association of the Rockies has created a new segment on our bi-weekly enews called, "Ask the Parkinson's Expert". Every enews we ask the community to submit a question they may have for a Parkinson's doctor, a selected question will then be answered and featured on the next enews.

All questions are confidential. Not all questions can be answered, so please notify your physician for immediate attention.

Q: "Once Parkinson's symptoms begin to return after a successful DBS procedure, can anything be done to get back to the initial lack of symptoms?"

A: “Yes. It is expected that symptoms will eventually return as the disease progresses. Sometimes the DBS generator voltage or pulse width can be increased to provide more benefit. More usually the DBS system can be expected to decrease the medication usage by 50% initially. Once that has been accomplished, the DBS system is likely near the limit of what can be achieved. This does allow for the opportunity to increase medication once again over the coming years to continue symptom control."

                            - David VanSickle, MD, Denver DBS Center

 

 

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Ask the Expert: Marijuana and Parkinson's Disease

Date: 05.02.2017

The Parkinson Association of the Rockies has created a new segment on our bi-weekly enews called, "Ask the Parkinson's Expert". Every enews we ask the community to submit a question they may have for a Parkinson's doctor, a selected question will then be answered and featured on the next enews.

All questions are confidential. Not all questions can be answered, so please notify your physician for immediate attention.

Q: "Does marijuana have any benefits for those with Parkinson's?" 

A: “While there is a lot of hype about marijuana and Parkinson's disease, the scientific evidence is much less conclusive. There have been a few survey-based studies and uncontrolled trials that suggest marijuana may be helpful for some Parkinson's symptoms including pain, anxiety, sleep, appetite, and nausea. These studies also suggest that marijuana may help smooth out certain motor symptoms, including dyskinesias. However, to date, all randomized controlled trials of marijuana for motor symptoms in Parkinson's have been negative but it is possible that they were not using the right dose or formulation of marijuana. In my experience, marijuana is more likely to be helpful for non-motor symptoms (e.g. Pain, sleep, appetite) than motor symptoms. Also of note, marijuana may cause side effects including problems with balance or memory so caution should be used with this, starting with a low dose and going up slowly, as with any medication. Cannabis is a complex plant that contains over 65 psychoactive chemicals, many of which actually decrease dopamine thus more research is needed. Dr. Maureen Leehey at the University of Colorado is currently conducting a study of cannabidiol (CBD) for Parkinson's tremor. Interested persons can email Nicole Leith."

                            - Benzi Kluger, MD, University of Colorado Hospital 

 

 

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