Treatment options for Parkinson’s disease at Temple include:
- Medication options — Depending on a patient’s symptoms and the progression of her or his disease, physicians may recommend a variety of medications to improve function and quality of life. These medications may include:
- Carbidopa-levodopa — This medication, which may be taken orally or administered through a feeding tube, is designed to boost dopamine levels in the body.
- Dopamine agonists — Rather than enhancing natural dopamine levels in the body, this medication is recognized by the brain as dopamine. Patients taking this medication may experience less frequent motor fluctuations but may also experience side effects including hallucinations, nausea and postural hypotension.
- MAO-B inhibitors — This medication is intended to slow the breakdown of dopamine in the brain so that available dopamine lasts as long as possible. It is typically prescribed to manage milder symptoms that may develop during the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.
- Deep brain stimulation — Patients who have more advanced cases of Parkinson’s disease and are not responding well to medications may elect to have this operation. The surgery involves the implantation of electrodes into the brain. These electrodes are connected with a generator in the chest and carry electric pulses to the brain.