The neurological effects of Parkinson’s disease are progressive and without cure, affecting more men than women. Dr. Christopher Sinclair, neurologist with Suffolk Brain and Nerve in Port Jefferson Station, New York, diagnoses and treats Parkinson’s to reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life. Request an appointment online or call the office today.
Most commonly recognized by the tremors it often creates, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that typically starts gradually, and usually begins around your mid-50s. The average age of onset is 56, and the youngest recorded Parkinson’s patient was 12 years old. Early onset of the disease is considered before the age of 40. Men are affected by Parkinson’s twice as often as women.
There’s no test or scan that leads to a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Instead, Dr. Sinclair looks for the classic symptoms of the condition. Tremors are usually the first sign, and your wrists and elbows demonstrate rigidity. Overall, your amount of movement slows, and your posture becomes unstable. If you’re given other tests, it’s usually to rule out other conditions as a possible cause.
As well as the tell-tale symptoms that lead to a Parkinson’s diagnosis, many problems could develop and interfere with the quality of your life. Treatment may ease or control some of these issues, while others may respond little or not at all. Among typical issues are:
In addition, you may experience sudden drops in blood pressure and accompanying dizziness, problems with your sense of smell, general or specific pain through your body, or low energy and fatigue.
Treatment for Parkinson’s is symptom-specific, where it’s possible. Medications can give you significant improvements with some symptoms, such as tremors and movement issues. There are many classes of drug available, so it may take some trial and error to find an effective medication. Over time, however, many of these medications lose some of their effectiveness.
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical treatment suitable for some people, typically in the advanced stages of the disease. Lifestyle changes including more aerobic activity may also reduce the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms.