Nerve cells in our brains have a certain pathway allowing them to control our body’s movements. If you have Parkinson’s disease, those pathways are disrupted, leading to challenges with coordination. This may affect everything from how you hold your hands to how you walk.
While no cure currently exists for Parkinson’s disease, our team of neurologists at Dignity Health Central Coast can provide personal care to help you restore the balance of your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. By focusing on relieving symptoms and helping you enjoy your most cherished activities, treatments can improve your quality of life.
Find a Doctor today to learn more about Parkinson’s disease treatments on the Central Coast of California.
Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Options at Dignity Health Central Coast
Because there is no way to prevent this movement disorder, treatment for Parkinson’s disease at Dignity Health Central Coast focuses on reducing the intensity and severity of motor symptoms, such as muscle rigidity or tremors.
Medication and surgery are the two primary therapies used today for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease results from low levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that allows nerve cells to communicate. Medications can increase dopamine levels in the brain, directly or indirectly, and help improve your physical symptoms.
Your doctor knows that most people who live with this neurological condition respond well to medications. Drug therapy is the primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The most common medications prescribed for this condition include:
- Dopamine agonist drugs. These drugs act like the brain’s dopamine.
- Levodopa/carbidopa combination. The brain’s nerve cells use levodopa to create dopamine. Your doctor may prescribe levodopa with carbidopa since it stops levodopa from changing into dopamine elsewhere in your body.
- MAO-B inhibitor and COMT inhibitor drugs. These medicines make more dopamine available to nerve cells by preventing the breakdown of dopamine in the brain.
- Anticholinergic drugs. These drugs decrease the activity of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine and can help ease symptoms such as tremor.
- Amantadine. This antiviral medication can help reduce some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
One treatment option for Parkinson’s disease that involves surgery is the implantation of a deep brain stimulator (DBS), a small, pacemaker-like device that sends painless electrical pulses to your brain. These electrical pulses block nerve signals causing movement difficulties.
During DBS surgery, your Dignity Health Central Coast doctor places an electrode in your brain and connects it to the stimulator device, which is implanted under your skin near your collarbone.
Not everyone is a candidate for DBS surgery. However, it may be an effective treatment for anyone who initially responds to levodopa but develops movement problems while taking the drug. Complementary therapies, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy, may help reduce muscle stiffness.
Talk to a trusted Dignity Health neurologist who can provide quality Parkinson’s disease treatments on the Central Coast.
Dignity Health’s experts in movement disorders are ready to focus on your well-being, which may include Parkinson’s disease treatments, on the Central Coast of California.