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Parkinson's Disease

How Is Parkinson's Disease Treated?

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 15:00

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

A number of treatments have been shown to improve symptoms of PD, well being, and quality of life. But, at present, none has been found to cure or slow down the progression of the illness. Research continues throughout the world, however, in search for the cause, new treatments and, a way to slow down, cure or prevent the illness.

Most people will continue quite a normal life after the diagnosis has been made and treatment begun. Some may decide together with the doctor that they can manage a while longer without treatment. A good way of knowing when treatment should begin is if small everyday tasks are becoming frustrating and tiring or if one's work is threatened.

Need To Know:

There is no medical benefit to be obtained by delaying the start of treatment and there is some evidence that delaying it for too long can actually have an adverse effect in the long term.

It's a commonly held misconception that the drugs only work for five to seven years, and some patients conclude that they can choose which five-to-seven-year period of their illness this will be. They decide to delay treatment for as long as possible. But if they wait too long, a higher dose of medication will be needed sooner - to control symptoms that have been steadily worsening over the years. The side effects from the higher doses of medication will occur more quickly. In the meantime, the person and the family will have endured months (or years) of frustration and fatigue.

The drugs may appear to stop working but this is actually a result of the symptoms no longer being controlled by the dose. This calls for an adjustment of the medications or the addition of others.

Parkinson's Disease