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Parkinsons Specialist

Neurology Diagnostics, Inc.

Adult Neurology & Electrodiagnostic Medicine located in South Dayton & North Dayton, Dayton, OH

Parkinson's disease can have a devastating effect on your ability to move normally and also cause a wide range of other distressing symptoms. If you need help with Parkinson's, Joel Vandersluis, MD, of Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. can help. At their offices in North and South Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Vandersluis and his team offer comprehensive treatment for Parkinson's, including the newest and most effective medications. Patients also have the opportunity to take part in clinical trials for new Parkinson's therapies. Call Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. today to find out more or book an appointment using the online form.

Parkinsons Q & A

What is Parkinson's?

Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that causes shaking and trouble walking. The reason why some people get Parkinson's isn't fully known. Some people seem to inherit the disease; others develop it because of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Parkinson's affects the cells in your brain that produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers, and you need dopamine to move smoothly and purposefully.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson's?

There are four primary symptoms of Parkinson's:

Tremors

Tremors involve shaking, often with a characteristic back and forth rhythm.

Motion rigidity

This includes muscle stiffness, chronically tense, contracted muscles, and resistance to movement.

Bradykinesia

This refers to a slowing down of movement that makes it increasingly difficult to carry out simple tasks and makes routine motions hard to achieve at normal speed.

Postural instability

Lack of balance and changes in the way you stand can lead to an increased risk of falls.

Other symptoms of Parkinson's include:

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Problems speaking
  • Emotional changes
  • Urinary problems
  • Constipation
  • Dementia or cognitive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Problems sleeping

Parkinson's most often affects people around 70 years of age, but it can also affect younger adults. Women are more likely to develop Parkinson's than men. 

How is Parkinson's treated?

While there's no cure for Parkinson's, the Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. team can offer some effective treatments for your symptoms.

The primary medication for Parkinson's is a combination of levodopa and carbidopa. Your nerve cells use levodopa to make more dopamine, while carbidopa helps prevent the changes from taking place until the levodopa reaches your brain. Alternatives to levodopa include the dopamine agonists (stimulants) pramipexole, apomorphine, and ropinirole.

Other drugs that can be helpful for Parkinson's include:

  • Anticholinergic medications
  • COMT inhibitors
  • MAO-B inhibitors

As well as using oral medications, Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. provides infusion services for some Parkinson's medications. The practice has onsite facilities where you can relax while the medication goes directly into your bloodstream through an intravenous line.

Another possible treatment is deep brain stimulation (DBS). This involves having electrodes implanted into your brain. The surgical team then connects the electrodes to a pulse generator — a portable electrical device that painlessly blocks the signals in your brain that cause Parkinson's symptoms.

Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. also offers patients the opportunity to take part in clinical trials.

What are Parkinson's disease clinical trials?

Parkinson's disease clinical trials help to improve understanding of the condition and develop new treatments. Examples of Parkinson's trials at Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. include:

Parkinson's disease with motor fluctuations

This study is investigating motor fluctuations, which is the return of Parkinson's symptoms or symptoms that are only partially controlled by the medication levodopa.

Parkinson's disease with levodopa-induced dyskinesia

This clinical trial treats Parkinson's patients who have levodopa-induced dyskinesia — uncontrollable, involuntary muscle jerks or movements that develop after long-term use of levodopa medication.

To find out more, call Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. today or book an appointment online.