Parkinson’s disease is a complex movement disorder in which brain nerve cells start to no longer function or die. Loss of these nerve cells causes a drop in circulating dopamine, a neurotransmitter. These types of chemicals enable nerve cells to communicate.
Dopamine is necessary for nerve cells to communicate normal movement. That’s why reduced levels of dopamine in people with Parkinson’s cause 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. It mainly affects people older than 60 but can begin much earlier in life.
At Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, our team of neurology experts collaborate with specialists to provide the right diagnosis and treatment for Parkinson’s Disease in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas. Find a Doctor and make an appointment today for personalized treatment with humankindness.
Causes of Parkinson’s Disease
Scientists do not know exactly what causes the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells. 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. It’s thought that a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role.
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
The most commonly encountered 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
- Stiff muscles in the arms, legs, or torso
- Poor balance
- Difficulty coordinating movements
Parkinson’s Disease Treatment at Dignity Health
Current treatment strategies work to control symptoms and improve quality of life. There is no way to prevent or cure Parkinson’s disease, but it is a highly researched area.
When you come to our highly trained specialists, your treatment for Parkinson’s disease could include a range of therapies, including:
- 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.
Although treatment cannot stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease, DBS surgery and medications help many people manage their symptoms and live a full life. See one of our specialists today. Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California offers the latest care for patients with Parkinson’s disease in the Sacramento region.