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? Dr. Dean Johnston, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Neurologist, discusses What is Parkinson's Disease?.
Loading the player...Treating Parkinson's Disease Dr. Dean Johnston, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Neurologist, discusses treating Parkinson's disease.
Many patients who suffer from Parkinson’s symptoms do not require treatment, at least initially. As they progress, they may require treatment to allow them to do some of the activities that they enjoy throughout their lifetime. There are a number of medications that can be very effective in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and these are in two main groups.
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. Presenter: Dr. Dean Johnston, Neurologist, Vancouver, BC