Parkinson’s disease is a complex, progressive brain disorder. The disease disrupts the brain’s nerve pathways that control how your body moves. Medication and surgery are the main Parkinson’s disease treatments.
If you’re looking for Parkinson’s disease treatments in Northern California, Find a Doctor at the following Dignity Health North State neurology centers for personal care:
Is There a Parkinson’s Disease Cure?
Unfortunately researchers have not yet found a cure for Parkinson’s disease. For now, Parkinson’s treatments focus on reducing the severity of motor symptoms like tremors and muscle rigidity to improve your quality of life.
Parkinson’s Disease Medications
Parkinson’s disease is caused by low levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a brain chemical that allows nerve cells to communicate. Medications can directly and indirectly increase dopamine levels to improve the physical Parkinson’s symptoms.
Doctors most often prescribe the following Parkinson’s medications:
- Levodopa and carbidopa. Nerve cells in the brain use levodopa to create dopamine. It is usually prescribed with carbidopa, which blocks the conversion of levodopa into dopamine throughout the body.
- Dopamine agonist drugs. These Parkinson’s medications act like dopamine in the brain.
- MAO-B inhibitor and COMT inhibitor drugs. These drugs make more dopamine available to nerve cells to prevent dopamine breakdown in the brain.
- Amantadine. This antiviral medication also helps reduce Parkinson’s symptoms.
- Anticholinergic drugs. By decreasing the activity of a specific neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, these Parkinson’s medications decrease symptoms like tremors.
Medications are the main Parkinson’s treatment because they effectively reduce symptoms for most people with Parkinson’s disease.
Other Parkinson’s Disease Treatments Including DBS Surgery at Dignity Health North State
if you initially respond to the Parkinson’s medication levodopa and later develop movement problems, DBS surgery might be a good option. With DBS surgery, a deep brain stimulator (DBS) is implanted into your body. A doctor places an electrode in your brain and connects it to a small, pacemaker-like device implanted under your skin near your collarbone. The DBS device sends painless electrical pulses to the brain in a way that blocks the errant nerve signals that cause hand tremors and movement difficulties.
DBS surgery is not for everyone. Neurologists at Dignity Health North state will evaluate whether DBS surgery is right for you. Your doctor may also recommend physical or occupational therapy to help reduce muscle stiffness and improve your quality of life.
Dignity Health North State offers personalized Parkinson’s disease treatments, including Parkinson’s medications and DBS surgery, in Red Bluff and Redding, CA.