What is Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects more than 1.5 million Americans. It is characterized by the loss of cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that carries signals to nerve cells. Although tremors are the most widely known symptom of Parkinson’s disease, it includes a range of other neurological disorders (collectively called parkinsonism) that can include:

  • Tremor (shaking)
  • Rigidity (stiffness)
  • Bradykinesia (slowness)
  • Poor posture/Balance

Parkinson's disease treatment

There is currently no cure, but treatment for Parkinson's disease to manage the disease and limit its effects have greatly improved quality of life for patients. The neuroscience experts on staff at Baylor Scott & White have access to a wide range of therapies and advanced technologies to help control the effects of Parkinson’s base on each patient's unique circumstances.

Parkinson's disease treatment options may include:

  • Medication: There are many different options based on patient factors and disease stage
  • Pallidotomy/Thalamotomy: Brain surgery that eliminates certain tissue to address involuntary movement and/or stiffness
  • Deep brain stimulation: Implanting an electrode in the brain to send electrical impulses shown to reduce symptoms
  • Neural grafting/Tissue transplants: Transplanting cells/tissue that may help create new dopamine-producing cells into the brain
  • Rehabilitation/Therapy: Physical, occupational and speech therapy to help cope with symptoms and improve daily activity
  • Clinical trials (when appropriate)

Plummer Movement Disorders Center

The Plummer Movement Disorder Center in Temple takes a team approach in treating Parkinson's disease. The care team includes a movement disorders specialist, a social worker and physical, occupational, speech and therapists with specialized training in Parkinson's disease treatment.

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