October 26, 2021

Health

Its all about the Health

Take Back Control of Parkinson’s Disease with Dr Sarah King

3 min read

Learn how to take back control of Parkinson’s Disease with Dr. Sarah King from Invigorate PT and Wellness. In this video we discuss Medicare’s new relaxed rules surrounding physical therapy and how this will benefit patients with Parkinson’s.

Sarah also shares with us some information about her progra which is specifically designed to help patients maintain balance, mobility, flexibility and the ability to do daily tasks of living. Her online workshops and courses can be access from anywhere in the country.

Learn more about Dr. Sarah King at https://www.invigoratept.com

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disorder that impairs the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra is located in the center of the brain near the bottom outer edge. Within the substantia nigra are neurons that produce dopamine. When the dopamine production is diminished, it results in Parkinson’s.

PD is different for everyone. The level of severity and the symptoms vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are non-motor symptoms. Some examples of non-motor symptoms are

Apathy
Depression
Constipation
Sleep disorders
Reduced sense of smell
Cognitive impairment
Another type of symptom people with PD can develop are motor symptoms. Those include symptoms such as

Tremor
Slowness of movement
Rigid limbs
Balance problems
Doctors use scales to diagnose the different stages of Parkinson’s disease. One of the most commonly used scale is the Hoehn and Yahr scale. This scale ranks PD in five stages. Stage one is the mildest form of PD and stage five is the most advanced.

As of today, there is no specific test to confirm the diagnosis of PD. Your neurologist concludes that it is PD by examining your medical history, performing diagnostic tests, and determining if you have at least two of the four motor symptoms listed above.

Parkinson’s is irreversible, but the symptoms can be managed. Luckily, there are multiple treatments to help manage Parkinson’s. Treatment plans include prescription medications, surgery, physical therapy, over the counter remedies, and general health and wellness initiatives.

Although each person with PD requires a different treatment plan. Nearly all patients will need dopaminergic medications. This type of medication helps to either replace or mimic the dopamine neurons that PD patients lack. The most effective dopaminergic medication is levodopa.

Levodopa converts to dopamine and then is transferred to the brain. Levodopa is usually combined with carbidopa. This combination allows there to be less nausea and vomiting, which are two common side effects of levodopa.

The form of dopaminergic medication that mimics dopamine are dopamine agonists. When this form of medication is taken, the brain is convinced it is receiving dopamine.

Medications that decrease tremors and extend the effect of levodopa are also available.

Doctors withhold surgery treatment for people with PD that have received treatment for symptoms but are still suffering profoundly. Surgery usually just helps to further improve symptoms that improved while taking levodopa.

Right now, there are only two main types of surgeries for PD patients. These are deep brain stimulation (DBS) and Duopa therapy.

DBS is the process of implanting a pacemaker that connects to your brain so that it sends electrical impulses to the brain nuclei. This surgery is meant to lessen PD symptoms.

Duopa therapy is a less invasive surgery that provides an alternative method of receiving the levodopa/carbidopa combination in gel form. The first step in Duopa therapy is the surgery itself. The surgeon will make a stoma (small hole) in your stomach wall so that a tube can be placed in your intestine. A Duopa pump is connected to the tube and pumps the gel medication directly into the intestine.

Medicare provides coverage for all of these Parkinson’s Disease treatments. Learn more about Medicare at https://boomerbenefits.com

Boomer Benefits provides free claims support for life for all of our Medigap and Medicare Advantage policyholders so that you are never alone in dealing with Medicare.

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