To date, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s, despite the ongoing research efforts of scientists across the world. Having said that, there are a number of treatments available which can substantially relieve the pain many patients feel as a result of the symptoms of the disease. It is not the case that every patient will require medication and drugs to treat their condition, and these will only be administered where the severity of the symptoms has a strong adverse affect on the patient’s lifestyle. The course of Parkinsons Medicine offered to a patient will vary with the amount of disruption the symptoms cause, the state of the patient’s condition and the severity of the condition within the patient. Even in these cases, it is not always a guarantee that the symptoms will be helped, although these treatments will go someway to making life more comfortable.
The most effective treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease by a long shot is the drug levodopa. This is derived from a naturally produced chemical in plant matter and animals, and works with the nerve cells to produce the dopamine which has been eroded by the patient’s condition, and is thought to be an underlying cause of the disease. The drug allows the majority of patients to extend the period of time in which they can lead their normal lives, effectively stalling the development of their Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, this treatment is only really effective in helping rigidity and bradykinesia, and may be of no help to the tremor or balance problems the patient may be experiencing. The drug is so effective, many patients forgot they are suffering from the disease as they continue to lead their lives as normal. However, levodopa is only a short term solution, as it can never replace the nerve cells which have been irretrievably damaged within the brain.
As with most medications, there are a number of side effects with levodopa, including restlessness, low blood pressure and vomiting. In some cases patients may also occasionally feel confused as to their surroundings , although this is a rare occurrence. It is important for physicians and patients to work together to come up with a happy medium between the benefits and side effects when using levodopa.
When combined with the drug tolcapone, Parkinsons medicine significantly reduces the effects of the disease, and helps block the destruction of dopamine which worsens the condition. Having said that, this tends to increase involuntary movement and twitching over a long course of treatment, and is sometimes withdrawn for several days at a time to ensure its continued effectiveness. However, patients should never completely cease treatment with levodopa without their physician’s guidance, due to the extreme and serious side effects that can emerge as a result.
Although there is no cure for the disease, Parkinsons medicine can go a long way to suppressing the debilitating and disabling symptoms of the condition, and making life more bearable for the many thousands of sufferers around the world.