Behavorial Health Test

Parkinson's Disease

What is Parkinson's Disease?

It's estimated that Parkinson's Disease affects 1-3% of the population over age 50, though an increasing number of younger people are diagnosed with this illness. This neurological illness occurs when certain brain cells degenerate, causing a depletion of the chemical dopamine. Symptoms include:

  • Slowness of movement
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Tremor
  • Changes in posture and balance

Currently, there is no known cause or cure for Parkinson's Disease.

How is Parkinson's Disease treated?

Although there is no cure for Parkinson's Disease, there are many medications to alleviate the symptoms. The choice of drugs is customized to the patient, and neurologists may have to try several medications before finding the best one for each individual. Good communication between doctor and patient results in more effective treatment.

In addition to medications, daily exercise and proper nutrition are important in slowing the progress of the disease.

What does it feel like to have Parkinson's Disease?

Frustrating! Since the medication wears off after varying lengths of time, one never knows when it may be impossible to complete ordinary tasks. Imagine wanting to get out of bed, but not being able to pull the sheet back or get up. Or think about trying to answer the phone only to discover your voice isn't working. Patients know what they want to do, but their bodies don't respond. The concentrated effort required to perform ordinary actions causes the fatigue most patients live with constantly.

Why go to Gundersen?

Our team will work closely with you and personalize your care so you become as functional as you can be. The goal is to provide comprehensive, coordinated medical and surgical care for improved quality of life, including diagnosis, rehabilitative services and continued medical management for complex movement disorders.

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