What to Expect In a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

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Have noticed a loved one changing over time?  Are they displaying symptoms of trembling and shaking, behavioral and mood changes, and an increased slowness in their movements?  These could be signs of something serious and they should be examined by a physician.  After a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease you will be left with a large number of questions and concerns.

What is the cause of Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is the progressive deterioration of the brain and dopamine.  This lack of dopamine results in a loss of control of the body’s movements.  For some people, Parkinson’s disease is caused by genetics.  For others there is no known cause or events that have a clear connection to the onset of Parkinson’s.  A relationship has not been established between Parkinson’s and any other factors, although there is a connection between certain medications, drugs, and toxins in the environment that warrant some attention.  We still have a lot to learn about what causes Parkinson’s disease.

What is the best Parkinson’s therapy?

While Parkinson’s cannot be reversed, there is a certain therapy Parkinson’s patients respond to fairly positively.  Physical therapy and occupational therapy are both good options for patients.  Teaching them to compensate for their slower movements and shaking will be valuable.  Occupational therapy will focus on daily living and tasks that they will be able to perform on their own.  There is no cure for Parkinson’s but the patient can continue to live with the symptoms with some assistance.  Whether services are provided at home or at an office, the treatment can be designed to meet each patient’s individual needs.

There is no specific diet for Parkinson’s patients.  A well-balanced nutritious diet is suggested for all patients as it helps your body function better.  While a diet cannot reverse the disease, it can still be beneficial by increasing the effectiveness of any medications and giving them the extra energy they need.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that will become worse over time.  Once you recognize the signs and symptoms and have an official diagnosis, from that point on your focus should be on maintenance.  A proper medication regimen, coupled with physical and occupational therapy, in conjunction with a proper diet will help your loved one function as well as they can, for as long as they can.

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