The main line of treatment for Parkinson’s disease includes a range of prescription medications. Surgery is also one of the options of treatment. All treatments aim to control symptoms in their severity thereby allowing the affected person to lead as normal life as possible. However, scientists are yet to find a cure for this disease. None of these medications can prevent or halt the progression of the disease. Most of these medications have various side effects. Which treatment is most suitable for an individual depends on factors such as the age of the person, the symptoms causing most distress and the severity and stage of their disease.
Levadopa is used in the treatment for Parkinson’s disease
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are caused as a result of depletion of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Hence medications that can replace dopamine are the mainstay of treatment. Levodopa, a precursor of dopamine, can be converted to dopamine in the brain. It is administered in combination with carbidopa or benserazide to maximise the delivery of levodopa to the brain and minimise side effects. These medications are usually effective for many years. However, the response tends to wear off or becomes less predictable with time.
This group of medications was the first available treatment for Parkinson’s disease before levodopa. They block the effect of acetylcholine, another brain chemical, to re-balance its levels with dopamine. Some antihistamines such as diphenhydramine also have anticholinergic activity and a useful sedative effect.
Neurosurgery has beneficial effects in treating Parkinson’s disease
Neurosurgery is increasingly common as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Neurosurgery is more preferred as the choice of treatment in relatively young age group of affected individuals who are otherwise healthy people.
Stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy is still in the experimental stages and there are different opinions about it. Stem cell therapy involves transplantation of healthy dopamine-forming cells into the damaged area of the brain .It is a controversial line of treatment and scientists are conducting more clinical research examining the possible benefits as well as side effects.
Exercise plays a crucial role in the treatment of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Regular physical activity such as swimming and walking is an excellent mood booster and helps to increase the stamina. Overall fitness and good muscle tone can help minimize some of the abnormal movements associated with Parkinson’s disease.