Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What medication is used to treat Parkinson's disease?"
My mother was just diagnosed, and it seems like she has a lot of options. What is considered the best possible treatment regimen?
Parkinson's disease is a disease of the brain which primarily effects movement. People that are affected by Parkinson's disease tend to have trouble initiating movements. They may also have a slight tremor of the hand. In its advances stages, the combination of these can make it difficult to perform everyday activities such as getting up stairs. Parkinson's disease is caused by a decrease in the amount of dopamine (a brain chemical) in the brain. Therefore, the best way of treating Parkinson's disease is to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. The drug L-dopa (a precursor of dopamine that is converted to dopamine in the brain) is the first line in treatment for Parkinson's disease. It is almost always given with another drug called carbidopa which is a increases the effectiveness of L-dopa. The two together come in a pill called Sinemet. You are correct in that there are many other options to treat Parkinson's. The other drugs are less effective, but can improve symptoms when given with Sinemet. Finally, there are also some surgeries which can be done. I suggest that your mother schedule an appointment with a neurologist. A neurologist will have the expertise to fully evaluate your mother and give her the best and most up-to-date treatment. I hope she feels better.
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