Parkinson's disease, a progressive nervous system disorder, presents unique challenges that affect daily life and overall well-being. While no cure currently exists, several treatment options have proven effective at managing symptoms and improving quality of life.
At Neurology Specialists of Albuquerque, neurologist, Dr. Timothy Ownbey provides comprehensive treatment for a range of neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease. Offering individualized care, Dr. Ownbey can discuss treatment options for you or your loved one. Keep reading to learn more about common Parkinson’s treatment approaches.
Medication designed to either increase the brain's dopamine level or mimic its effects is at the forefront of Parkinson’s treatment.
Levodopa is one of primary medications used to treat Parkinson's. Once inside the brain, it transforms into dopamine, rapidly replenishing this critical neurotransmitter and significantly reducing symptoms.
While these drugs don't morph into dopamine, they mimic its effects in the brain. They aren’t as effective as levodopa, but they last longer and can be used to smooth out the sometimes intermittent effect of levodopa.
These medications act as the guardians of dopamine in your brain. MAO-inhibitors slow down the breakdown of dopamine so that its effects last longer. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) that metabolizes it.
As Parkinson’s advances, medications may not be enough to relieve symptoms. When this is the case, Dr. Ownbey may recommend deep brain stimulation. This surgical procedure involves implanting electrodes into specific parts of your brain. These electrodes are connected to a generator implanted in your chest, sending electrical pulses to your brain and effectively alleviating many symptoms of Parkinson's.
Exercise is not just beneficial for those with Parkinson's disease; it's crucial. Regular physical activity enhances mobility, balance, and overall quality of life. Collaborating with a physical therapist allows you to craft a personalized exercise regimen that accommodates your unique level of strength and mobility.
To maintain independence for as long as possible, occupational therapists are your allies. They offer practical advice on managing daily tasks, improving home safety, utilizing assistive devices, and managing fatigue. With their help, you can continue to navigate the world with confidence.
Parkinson's disease can impact your speech and swallowing muscles, leading to challenges in communication and eating. However, speech and language therapists can teach techniques to enhance speech clarity and volume, as well as provide strategies to ensure safe swallowing.
Living with Parkinson's isn't just about medical treatments; it's also about adapting your lifestyle to better manage symptoms. Balanced nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management can all contribute to an improved quality of life.
Engaging in social activities, pursuing hobbies, and practicing mindfulness can also help you stay mentally and emotionally strong.
You aren’t alone in this journey. There’s a world of medical professionals, therapists, and support groups ready to offer their knowledge, skills, and understanding. Armed with information and supported by these resources, you can face the challenges of Parkinson's.
To discuss treatment options, call 505-302-2765 to schedule a visit with Dr. Ownbey.