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What treatments are available for Parkinson disease?

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Quick Answer

Medicines, surgery and physical therapy treat Parkinson’s disease, states WebMD. Medicine and surgery restore balance of the neurotransmitters called acetylcholine and dopamine, and physical therapy restores normal body alignment.

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What treatments are available for Parkinson disease?
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Full Answer

The most common medicine prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease is levodopa, according to WebMD. The body produces dopamine after metabolizing this medicine, and it is typically combined with carbidopa to reduce nausea and other side effects. Long-term use of levodopa often results in lessened effectiveness, and the medicine should not be taken with food or vitamins if not coupled with carbidopa. Other medicines such as COMT inhibitors, MAO-B inhibitors and dopamine agonists are also used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Surgery is used to connect dopamine-producing cells in the brain to those containing Parkinson’s disease, explains WebMD. These surgical procedures replace medications used to correct neurotransmitter imbalance. Surgically inserting a wire into the brain to initiate deep brain simulation is another Parkinson’s disease treatment.

Physical therapy focuses on the effects of Parkinson’s disease instead of the causes, states WebMD. It improves posture and motor skill difficulty and strengthens muscles needed for swallowing or speaking. Antidepressants are also used to treat depression that may occur from the social difficulties caused by Parkinson’s disease. Exercise classes provide companionship while a person maintains the necessary regular exercise regimen.

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