Do your homework to find the best care provider for Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson's is a complicated, chronic and progressive disease. It’s important to have an experienced healthcare partner providing support from the very beginning of your journey. When researching a Parkinson’s program, consider these factors:
- Early diagnosis is critical. Make sure your healthcare provider uses the most sophisticated diagnostic tools for the earliest detection possible.
- Seek out a comprehensive medical team. A multidisciplinary approach means that all of your health and wellness needs will be addressed. Look for a Parkinson’s program that combines the expertise of specialists in cardiology, neurology, urology, psychology and sleep medicine as well as speech, physical and occupational therapists.
- Consider advanced treatments. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, you may need the expertise of movement disorder physicians who specialize in deep brain stimulation (DBS).
Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressing, degenerative disease related to the brain's loss of the chemical dopamine, which controls coordinated muscle movement. More than 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson's disease, which is characterized by:
- Tremor or trembling of the arms, legs, jaw and face
- Stiff limbs and trunk
- Slow movement (bradykinesia)
- Balance and coordination problems
Other common symptoms include a shuffling gait, lack of facial expression, stooped posture and difficulty changing position. Non-motor symptoms include depression, fearfulness, sleep disturbance, difficulty sleeping and urinary urgency.
Parkinson’s is more likely to affect men than women, with an average age of onset of 60. Individuals with a parent or sibling with Parkinson’s are twice is likely to develop the disease, but researchers believe the link is both genetic and environmental.
The early symptoms of Parkinson’s sometimes mimic other illnesses, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and have a complete neurological examination with an accurate medical history. Your doctor may need to observe your symptoms over time to reach a conclusive diagnosis.
To eliminate a diagnosis of other diseases or conditions, your doctor may also order additional tests at Cadence Health, including:
- Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan) – to rule out a tumor or stroke
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – to rule out a neuromuscular disease
Why choose Cadence Health for Parkinson’s disease treatment?
Cadence Health has a long history as a leader in treating movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
- The multidisciplinary approach at Cadence Health means doctors, advanced care nurses, therapists, nutritionists and other specialists work as a team dedicated to bringing you a better quality of life.
- Cadence Health is the site of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association Information/Referral Center, as well as the organization’s Young Onset Center.
- Cadence Health offers deep brain stimulation procedures, seeing a drastic reduction in patient symptoms and a tremendous improvement in mobility and coordination.
- Cadence Health performs more deep brain stimulation procedures than any other facility in the Chicago area.
Treating Parkinson's Disease
There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, but neurologists at Cadence Health provide a number of treatments that can help you live a long and productive life, including:
- Medication. Every Parkinson’s patient reacts differently to medication, so your doctor will prescribe, observe and adjust to find the right medication for you.
- Complementary and supportive therapies. A regimen of diet, exercise, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy has proven to be effective in lessening the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Surgery. Depending on the severity of your muscle tremor or rigidity, your doctor may recommend deep brain stimulation (DBS) – Small electrodes are placed in the parts of the brain that control movement to interrupt the normal flow of information and help decrease Parkinson’s symptoms.
To find a specialist in neurosciences on the medical staff, please call 630.933.4234. TTY for hearing impaired 630.933.4833.