Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in a specific area of your brain. Symptoms progress differently for every person, but generally develop slowly over the years. People with PD may experience:
- Tremor (mainly while resting)
- Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
- Interference with speech
- Balance and walking problems
Doctors are not sure what causes this disease. Genetic and environmental factors may both play a role. People who have this disease experience changes in the brain. They lose brain cells that produce dopamine. This is a chemical that relays messages in the brain. Without it, the areas of your brain that control movement and coordination don’t work properly.
Parkinson’s disease tends to start with subtle symptoms which get worse over time. It may begin with a slight tremor, usually in one hand or arm. Eventually it begins to affect both sides of your body. It can cause trembling, stiffness, and slow movements. It can cause loss of balance and coordination. You may develop a stooped posture. You may speak softly and in a monotone, and you may pause frequently when you speak. These symptoms vary from person to person, and they may progress slowly or quickly.
Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed by movement disorder specialists at The NeuroMedical Center. Your treatment plan may include medications and regular physical and occupational therapy sessions. Your neurologist may also recommend surgery to help better control your Parkinson’s symptoms.
DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION (DBS) FOR PARKINSON’S DISEASE
When medications alone are unable to control the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical option available to patients of The NeuroMedical Center. In fact, we are home of Baton Rouge’s first and only DBS program. DBS is described as a pacemaker for the brain. Electrodes are implanted into the brain to deliver controlled electrical impulses to targeted brain cells to control tremor. Deep brain stimulation does not cure Parkinson’s disease, but may help lesson symptoms.Learn More About DBS Surgery
PARKINSON’S DISEASE CLINICAL TRIALS
In an effort to provide our patients with the most breakthrough therapeutic methods and procedures to combat Parkinson’s disease, Movement disorder specialists at The NeuroMedical Center offer patients the opportunity to participate in clinical research studies.View Enrolling Clinical Trials
EXPERT CARE FOR PARKINSON’S
If you are living with Parkinson’s disease, it is recommended that you receive treatment from a neurologist who has specialized training in movement disorders. The NeuroMedical Center offers three movement disorder specialists who are highly experienced diagnosing and treating Parkinson’s. Dr. Gerald J. Calegan, Dr. B. Glenn Kidder, and Dr. Rebecca E. Whiddon remain on the cutting-edge of knowledge and treatment of Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, and with access to advanced diagnostic services, are best equipped to tailor a plan of care for your specific needs.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE EDUCATION
In the first months and years after being diagnosed with Parkinson disease, it is important to gather information about initial symptoms and the treatment options that are available. Our Parkinson’s disease experts stay up-to-date with the latest Parkinson’s disease therapies and treatment options, and keep our communities apprised of progress. Every year, our Parkinson’s experts present their latest findings at Louisiana’s largest annual Parkinson’s Conference.
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If you or a loved one is seeking expert care for movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, or any other neurological condition ask your physician for a referral to The NeuroMedical Center’s Neurology program. For more information, please contact our scheduling department (225) 768-2050 or request an appointment with Dr. Calegan, Dr. Kidder, or Dr. Whiddon online.