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Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease in Northern California


If you’re experiencing tremors in your hands, legs, or other parts of your body or think you may have other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, see a neurologist right away. Medications and other Parkinson’s disease treatments can help manage your symptoms and vastly improve your quality of life.

Neurologists at Dignity Health North State offer personal care to treat Parkinson’s disease in Northern California. Find a Doctor at any of the following Dignity Health North State neurology centers:

 

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a complex, chronic, and progressive movement disorder characterized by muscle tremors and difficulty moving. The condition can also cause other non-movement problems, including sleep disorders, digestive problems, and cognitive difficulties. While  Parkinson’s disease mainly affects people older than 60, it can begin much earlier in life.

 

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is caused when nerve cells in the brain start to die or no longer function. Losing these nerve cells causes a drop in the neurotransmitter dopamine. Because dopamine helps nerve cells to communicate, enabling normal movement, reduced levels in people with Parkinson’s disease usually causes movement problems like hand tremors.

Scientists do not know exactly what triggers the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells. However it’s thought to be a combination of genetics and environmental factors. While Parkinson’s disease can run in families, most gene mutations that increase the risk of developing the condition are not inherited.

 

Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are associated with movement problems, including:

  • Tremors of the hands, legs, face, or even voice
  • Stiff muscles in the arms, legs, or torso
  • Slow movement
  • Difficulty coordinating movements
  • Poor balance

 

Treating Parkinson’s Disease at Dignity Health North State

There is no Parkinson’s disease cure, but it is being intensely researched. For now, medications as well as surgery helps many people successfully manage their symptoms. Dignity Health North State offers a range of Parkinson’s disease treatments, which may include:

  • Medications to increase dopamine levels in the brain
  • Surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation device (DBS), which blocks the nerve impulses responsible for tremors and other symptoms
  • Therapies including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to improve muscle tone, gait, and voice problems 

Talk with your doctor to learn more about your options for treating Parkinson’s disease.

Dignity Health North State offers personalized care for Parkinson’s disease in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.