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There are currently no available treatments to slow the progression of Parkinson’s over time, but available drugs and therapies can effectively treat symptoms often for years. Because Parkinson’s disease is highly variable, what works for one patient may not work for another. As with any course of treatment or medication, it is critical to work closely with your physician to determine the optimal treatments for you.*
Many different treatment approaches are used for Parkinson’s disease:
Since many symptoms of Parkinson’s are due to a lack of dopamine in the brain, dopaminergic strategies act to temporarily increase dopamine in the brain through different approaches. The increase in dopamine provided by these approaches can result in improved motor function control.
These drugs block a different neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) that also regulates movement, which could ease motor symptoms.
Other symptomatic therapies
You may need other medications for conditions that could be related to your Parkinson’s, such as: depression, constipation, orthostatic hypotension and dyskinesia.
Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is another therapy to treat Parkinson’s motor symptoms. A thin electrode is implanted into the brain and small electrical pulses stimulate a small brain region and block the signals that cause motor difficulties.
While no studies have proven the effect of exercise on slowing Parkinson’s progression, strength and balance from regular exercise can help overall health. You should talk to your physician about a safe exercise program and about how allied care professionals such as physical, occupational and speech therapists can help manage your symptoms.