Parkinson’s disease

Introduction to
Treatment

Getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a shock to every patient. Patients receive their diagnosis after a clinical examination, not based on a lab test or on imaging results. In this video, Dr. Stern explains to a newly diagnosed patient with PD the variables he considers in a PD diagnosis. He also explains the role of dopamine imaging (a DaTscan) in the diagnosis of parkinsonian syndromes using advanced imaging technology. In the second half of the video,
Dr. Stern discusses the prognosis of a newly diagnosed patient, emphasizing that PD is a very heterogeneous condition with most patients living full and active lives for many years.

Introduction to Treatment

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Patient questions
  • Is there some way to slow the progression of disease?
  • Are there medications to treat my symptoms?
  • What lifestyle changes should I consider?
  • Is Levodopa the right medication for me at this time?
  • What drug side effects should I be aware of?
Points you might want to raise during the discussion with your doctor
  • Make sure to tell your doctor what symptoms are having the most negative influence on your quality of life:
    • Tremor
    • Stiffness
    • Slowness of movements
    • Dizziness / sense of spinning
    • Sleep disorder
    • Constipation
    • Anxiety or depression
    • Feeling over-whelmed, inability to multi-task
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Compulsive behaviors
    • Frequency of urination
  • Provide your doctor with information about your physical activity
  • If you have seen a physical therapist not affiliated with your doctor’s health system, provide an update on physical therapy
Diagnosis
Treatment of Motor
Fluctuations