Parkinson's disease treatment aims to keep signs and symptoms under control for as long as feasible while reducing side effects. Research shows that if Parkinson's treatment is not started immediately following a diagnosis, a patient's quality of life rapidly deteriorates.
Medicinal Treatment for Parkinson’s disease
Medicinal treatment for Parkinson's disease is essential to manage tremors, walking, and movement issues. Medicines for Parkinson's disease substitute or increase dopamine in the body. It is impossible to administer dopamine because it does not enter your brain directly. After starting medicinal treatment of Parkinson's disease, you may see a rapid reduction in your symptoms. On the other hand, symptoms typically decline or become less reliable with time. However, you can still keep your symptoms under control.
The following are the medicines prescribed mainly by doctors for Parkinson's disease.
The most prescribed and helpful medicine for Parkinson's disease is levodopa, a natural chemical that passes into your brain and is converted to dopamine. The purpose of adding carbidopa with levodopa is to protect levodopa from before conversion to dopamine outside the brain. It also prevents side effects like nausea.
The inhalation form of carbidopa-levodopa effectively manages symptoms when the effectiveness of oral dosage forms diminishes during the day.
Dopamine agonists are not converted to dopamine like levodopa. Instead, they resemble the actions of dopamine in the brain.
These agents are not successful in controlling your symptoms as levodopa. However, they have a long duration of action and can be taken in conjunction with levodopa to smooth out the off-and-on effect of levodopa. Common examples of dopamine antagonists include pramipexole, ropinirole, and rotigotine. The short-acting injectable dopamine agonist available is apomorphine that is used to provide fast relief.
Anticholinergics including trihexyphenidyl and benztropine are commonly used for tremors related to Parkinson's disease. However, their use is limited because of their high ratio of side effects compared to their benefits. Side effects linked with these agents include dry mouth, impaired memory, confusion, and constipation.
MAO B inhibitors
Commonly prescribed monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MOA-B) include selegiline, rasagiline, and safinamide. They block the brain enzyme monoamine oxidase B, which helps prevent dopamine breakdown in the brain. This enzyme breaks down dopamine in the brain. Selegiline used with levodopa may help prevent the effects of the drug from wearing off.
Surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease
Treatment with medications can help many patients with Parkinson's disease to maintain a good quality of life. But, in case of worsening of the condition, some treatments may become ineffective.
The following are the most used surgical treatments for Parkinson's disease.
- Deep brain stimulation
- Carbidopa-levodopa infusion
Other Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease
The role of a physiotherapist in treating Parkinson's disease is by manipulating movements and by recommending you exercise. Physiotherapy can help you reduce muscular stiffness and joint pain. The physiotherapist's goal is to help you move more quickly and enhance your flexibility and walking. They also work to improve your fitness and capacity to fulfill your daily tasks.
Speech and language therapy
One of the treatment approaches for Parkinson's disease is language and speech therapy. Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and speech issues are common in patients with Parkinson's disease.
By teaching speaking and swallowing exercises or offering assistive technology, a speech and language therapist play its part in addressing these challenges.