Dementia is not a specific disease, rather, a cluster of conditions that are really typified by a decrease in brain function. Just like there's kidney failure and heart failure, dementia really can be thought of as brain failure.
Loading the player...What is Parkinson's Disease? <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/neurologist">Neurologist,</a> discusses What is Parkinson's Disease?.</p>
Neurologist, discusses What is Parkinson's Disease?.
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Neurologist, discusses treating Parkinson's disease.
Treating Parkinson's Disease
The two main groups of medications used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:
Dopamine agonists: These medications work by mimicking the effects of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is deficient in Parkinson's disease. Dopamine agonists stimulate the dopamine receptors in the brain, helping to alleviate motor symptoms. Some common dopamine agonists include pramipexole, ropinirole, and rotigotine. These medications are often used in the early stages of Parkinson's or in combination with other treatments.
Levodopa (L-Dopa): Levodopa is converted into dopamine in the brain and helps replenish the depleted dopamine levels in Parkinson's disease. It is considered the most effective medication for controlling motor symptoms. Levodopa is often combined with another medication called carbidopa, which helps enhance its effectiveness and reduces side effects. Some common levodopa-carbidopa formulations include Sinemet, Madopar, and Stalevo.
In addition to these two main groups of medications, there are other drugs that can be used to complement the treatment of Parkinson's disease. These include:
Monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) inhibitors: MAO-B inhibitors, such as selegiline and rasagiline, work by blocking the activity of the enzyme monoamine oxidase-B, which breaks down dopamine in the brain. By inhibiting this enzyme, MAO-B inhibitors help preserve dopamine levels and reduce the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors: COMT inhibitors, such as entacapone and tolcapone, prolong the effects of levodopa by blocking the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase, which breaks down levodopa in the body. By inhibiting this enzyme, COMT inhibitors can help reduce fluctuations in motor response that may occur with levodopa treatment.
Anticholinergic drugs: These medications, such as trihexyphenidyl and benztropine, can be used to alleviate tremors and some of the stiffness associated with Parkinson's disease. They work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is overactive in Parkinson's.
It's important to note that the choice of medication and the treatment plan for Parkinson's disease may vary depending on the individual's specific symptoms, disease progression, and other factors. Treatment decisions are best made in consultation with a healthcare professional experienced in managing Parkinson's disease.
Dopamine agonists are drugs that mimic dopamine and act on dopamine receptors to facilitate movement and to reduce symptoms. The replacement of dopamine by using oral levodopa is probably the most effective way of managing Parkinson’s symptoms, and the effects are almost immediate.
Parkinson’s symptoms can also be managed by lifestyle modification. Certainly maintenance of physical fitness, improving balance and using a physiotherapist or personal trainer to assist in those endeavours can help reduce the effect or the impact of Parkinson’s symptoms on a specific individual.
Parkinson’s is typically a very slowly progressive condition, and the treatments can be adapted to an individual’s specific symptoms or their progression. It’s very difficult to predict where a patient will be a year or two years down the road, and therefore, it’s important to involve their family doctor and a neurologist to help them manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.