RadioMD: Staying Well

A Degenerative Illness: Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

August 18, 20149 min
Roughly 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease annually. Do you know the early symptoms?Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disease that affects motor movement. Parkinson's typically starts off with muscle stiffness, loss of balance, or a small tremor, causing you to lose partial control of your hand and overtime gets worse.It is estimated that three out of 100 people in the U.S. will have Parkinson disease by age 70, making it the second most common neurodegenerative disease.Although the condition usually develops after the age of 65, approximately 15 percent of those diagnosed are under age 50.What are some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease?The disease affects patients in different ways. What one patient may experience, another may not. For example, progression can be quick in some patients, whereas in other patients can experience symptoms slowly over time.Unfortunately, Parkinson's disease cannot be detected by an MRI or a CT Scan and is diagnosed primarily on your medical history and your symptoms.Is there any cure?Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but a multifaceted approach typically works the best for symptom management. There are medications available that help the slowness of the motor symptoms (shakiness, stiffness, tremors, etc.) such as Levadopa/Carbidopa.What other information do you need to know about Parkinson's disease?Dr. Howard Weiss joins Melanie Cole, MS to discuss symptoms of Parkinson's disease, the risk factors and complications associated with Parkinson's, and what treatment options are available.

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