Parkinson’s disease is a complex movement disorder in which brain nerve cells cease to function or die. Loss of these nerve cells causes a drop in circulating dopamine, a neurotransmitter, which hinders nerve cells from communicating normal movement.
People with Parkinson’s have reduced levels of dopamine, which causes movement problems such as hand tremors. Other non-movement problems can also be caused by Parkinson’s, including sleep disorders, cognitive difficulties, and digestive problems. Parkinson’s disease is chronic and progressive, mainly affecting people older than 60.
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What Cause Parkinson’s Disease?
Scientists don’t know exactly what causes the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells, but Parkinson’s disease can run in families. A few, specific gene mutations can cause the disease. However, most cases of Parkinson’s are not inherited, and it’s thought that a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role.
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease involve a variety of physical movement problems, including:
- Tremors of the hands, legs, face, or voice
- Slow movement
- Poor balance
- Stiff muscles in the arms, legs, or torso
- Difficulty coordinating movements
Parkinson’s Disease Treatment at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
Current treatment strategies for Parkinson’s disease work to control symptoms and improve quality of life. There is no way to prevent or cure Parkinson’s, but it is being highly researched.
At Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican, your treatment for Parkinson’s disease could include a range of therapies, such as:
- Surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation device (DBS) that blocks the nerve impulses responsible for tremor and other motor symptoms
- Medications that increase dopamine levels in the brain
- Complementary therapies, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to improve gait, muscle tone, and voice problems
DBS surgery and medications may help many people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals provides treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.