The NeuroMedical Center | Patient Education Library | Parkinson's Disease

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

What Causes Parkinson's Disease?

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.

What are Common Parkinson's Symptoms?

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.

How is Parkinson's Disease Treated?

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.

Expert Care for Parkinson's Disease in Louisiana

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. Our neurologists and DBS neurosurgeon, Dr. Paul J. Waguespack, have performed over 400 successful DBS surgeries to date. With access to advanced diagnostic services, our Parkinson’s specialists are best equipped to tailor a plan of care for your specific needs.

Gerald J. Calegan, M.D.
Movement Disorder Neurologist

B. Glenn Kidder, M.D.
Movement Disorder Neurologist

Paul J. Waguespack, M.D.
Neurosurgeon & DBS Specialist

Rebecca E. Whiddon, M.D.
Movement Disorder Neurologist

Parkinson's Disease Self-Advocacy & 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.

Taking Personal Control of Parkinson’s Disease
by Dr. Gerald J. Calegan

Psychology & Parkinson’s Disease
by Dr. Darla M.R. Burnett

Answering Your Parkinson’s Questions
2019 Parkinson’s Conference

The Scoop on CBD Oil, Protein, and Fava Beans
by Dr. Gerald J. Calegan

DBS as a Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
by Dr. Gerald J. Calegan

Your Guide to Parkinson’s Disease & Diet
by Dr. Gerald J. Calegan

Depression & Anxiety in Parkinson’s Disease
by Dr. B. Glenn Kidder

Parkinson’s Disease Medications Update (2015)
by Dr. Rebecca E. Whiddon

Approved FDA Treatments for Parkinson’s (2015) 
by Dr. Gerald J. Calegan

Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
by Dr. B. Glenn Kidder

Answering Your Parkinson’s Disease Questions
Panel Discussion

Expert Care for Parkinson's Disease in Louisiana

The NeuroMedical Center excels in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of all neurological conditions, emphasizing an individualized approach that helps each patient manage their symptoms and optimize their quality of life.  Our Parkinson’s disease experts collaborate closely with specialists in the neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), pain medicine, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy services.  This comprehensive approach allows us to treat all aspects of the disease process and focus on the whole patient, ensuring the very best quality of life.  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 to refer you to The NeuroMedical Center’s Neurology department or request an appointment with one of our specialists online.  

The NeuroMedical Center's DBS Team