What is Parkinson’s
According to the National Institutes of Health, “Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are:
- Tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
- Rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
- Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement
- And postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination
Four elements of optimal living are within your control. As we meet Parkinson families, we notice that those who are experiencing the highest quality of life are engaging in these four ways:
Learning. As you gain more knowledge about PD, caregiving, and recent developments, you will put new tools in your toolbox for living with PD.
Connecting. Intentionally connecting with other Parkinson families through a support or therapy group will make a profound difference in your emotional well being and social support.
Exercising. Innovative therapies such as the Power Wellness Recovery PWR!(TM) programs emphasize big movement. Whether you join an exercise group or follow a home program, exercise will help improve your life.
Partnering. To live at your highest level with PD, you will do best by partnering with others. Your team will likely include your neurologist, primary physician, the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma, as well as a speech therapist, physical therapist, or possibly others whose expertise can result in progress for you.
When someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it isn’t just their problem. Family members and friends are affected as well.
From annual Caregiver Luncheons to caregiving resources and pertinent topics throughout the year, we work to keep our Parkinson family caregivers equipped.
Treatment and next steps
Research for neurological conditions appears to be expanding. Currently, some of the primary treatments include medications such as those in the levodopa class (Sinemet, Rytary, Duopa, etc.). Other medication approaches may also be used. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) continues to improve and help many people as well.
We recommend that you see a neurologist in addition to your primary physician. If possible, a Movement Disorder Specialist should also be consulted.