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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Parkinson disease (PD) is a long-term movement disorder. The brain cells that control movement start to die and cause changes in how you move, feel, and act. Even though PD may progress and have a severe impact on your daily life, it is not a life-threatening disease.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
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- Anti-Parkinson medicines are used to improve movement problems, such as muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness. Your healthcare provider may use several types of this medicine to help manage your symptoms.
- Botulinum toxin is given as an injection into your muscles to help them relax and be less stiff.
- MRI pictures may be taken of your brain. You may be given contrast liquid to help the pictures show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
- A PET scan takes pictures of your brain and shows how the blood is flowing in your brain. It can also show where medicines and chemicals go inside your brain. A PET scan may show your healthcare provider if your brain has changed or is not functioning well.
- A single photon emission CT (SPECT) scan is used to take pictures of your brain and may show how the neurons connect to one another. A SPECT scan may also show where brain chemicals go inside your brain.
Healthcare providers may place an electrical device inside your brain during surgery called deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation may help to decrease symptoms, such as tremor and rigidity. Once the device is in your brain, you may turn the device on or off whenever you want.
- Exercise and physical therapy can help you learn exercises to improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. This may help you control your body movements, keep your balance, and fall less often.
- Occupational therapy can help you learn skills to do your daily activities more easily. Your occupational therapist may help you choose equipment to help you at home and work. He can also suggest ways to keep your home and workplace safe.
- Speech therapy may be used to help you improve your ability to talk or swallow.
- Even with treatment, PD may increase your risk of behavior changes, depression, or anxiety. You may have confusion or difficulty thinking. PD may make it difficult to sleep. You may also have vision changes or difficulty smelling and swallowing. PD may also affect bowel or bladder control. You may have problems with low blood pressure, which may cause you to feel dizzy or faint.
- If PD is left untreated, your symptoms may get worse more quickly. Your symptoms may make it hard for you to do your normal daily activities. You may feel bad about yourself and it may be harder to get along with others. You may fall and break a bone. You may have a higher risk of life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia, heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.