Centerpoint Medical Center specializes in patients with Parkinson's disease. Under the direct guidance of neurosurgeon Stephen B. Wilkinson, MD, he and the neurologists at Centerpoint Medical Center have developed a wide range of options to treat Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, including deep-brain stimulation. Each treatment plan is tailored to the patient to provide relief from symptoms and increase quality of life.
Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that causes:
- Muscle rigidity
- Tremor at rest
- Slowing down of movements (bradykinesia)
- Difficulty moving and gait instability
It is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the brain. This loss decreases the amount of dopamine in the brain, and the low dopamine results in Parkinson's disease symptoms.
There are no tests to definitively diagnose Parkinson's disease. In order to rule out other causes of your symptoms, your neurologist may order tests such as:
- Blood tests
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Urine tests
Currently, there are no treatments to cure Parkinson's disease. Some medications are used to improve symptoms, but over time the side effects may become troublesome or the medications may lose their effectiveness.
Deep Brain Stimulation
Dr. Wilkinson offers a deep brain stimulation surgery option for people with Parkinson's disease. The deep brain stimulation surgery includes a "brain pacemaker"that sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. This process can help patients better tolerate medications (including side effects) commonly prescribed for Parkinson's disease. This procedure may also help stop tremors before they start - more research is being conducted.
Some patients also benefit from physical therapy. For more information on physical therapy, please visit rehabilitation.