While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, several treatments can ease the symptoms and potentially slow the progress of this debilitating disease. Even though medications continue to be the mainstay of Parkinson’s treatment, modalities are also often used in combination to provide a well-balanced approach for people who experience symptoms.
A well-rounded treatment plan for Parkinson’s disease can also include physical, speech, and occupational therapies critical to prolonging mobility and independence. Surgical options also continue to be improved and play integral roles for a subset of patients with Parkinson’s, assisted with complementary therapies that treat the disease’s symptoms.
It is essential to recognize is that each individual diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease will have a varied treatment plan designed by personal physicians and healthcare providers specifically designed to target symptoms.
Medication To Manage Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease
Eventually, almost all patients with Parkinson’s disease will need medication to aid in their motor symptoms. Several drugs are appropriate for targeting motor symptoms, many often used in various strengths and combinations.
Some of these medications include Dopamine Agonists, MAO Inhibitors, COMT Inhibitors, and Anticholinergic agents, all effective in symptomatic therapy. Highly individualized treatment plans are adjusted over time based on side effects and symptoms throughout the progression of the disease.
Speech, Occupational, And Physical Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease
Vital components of Parkinson’s disease treatment planning are speech, occupational, and physical therapies. As the disease negatively impacts speech and movement, such medicines used in conjunction with medications prolong a patient’s independence and quality of life.
Speech therapy addresses complications with communication and aids in bridging language barriers that may arise with Parkinson’s disease. Occupational therapy helps refine motor skills, and physical therapy can improve walking and movement.
Surgical Option For Treatment Of Parkinson’s Disease
Some patients with Parkinson’s disease may be candidates for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), an FDA-approved surgery. DBS involves targeting an area of the brain through implanted electrodes. For people whose tremors are medication-resistant and those who have significant motor fluctuations, DBS can ease negative symptoms of Parkinson’s and medication side effects.
Changes In Lifestyle
Medication, therapy, and surgical options all help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease while mitigating its harmful symptoms. However, people who live with this debilitating disease can increase the effectiveness of their treatment plans by making positive lifestyle changes.
A healthy diet increases energy and maximizes the potential of medications while promoting an overall sense of well-being. Through a physician-approved exercise routine that incorporates cardiorespiratory, resistance, and flexibility exercises, people with Parkinson’s can actively participate in their treatment.