Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease
Doctors typically diagnose Parkinson’s disease based on your symptoms, your complete medical history, and a physical and neurological exam. Based on the results, you may be referred to a center that specializes in movement disorders care or to a movement disorder specialist. Your provider may also suggest tests such as a dopamine transporter scan (DaTscan), MRI, genetic testing, or other blood tests.
DaTscan is an FDA-approved imaging test for evaluating Parkinson’s. This test detects levels of dopamine transporters (DaT) in certain areas of your brain. DaTscan results are useful for your doctor when your diagnosis is unclear.
Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease
Our treatment options help relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s and improve your quality of life.
The most effective medications for Parkinson’s disease are based on restoring levels of dopamine. Such medications include levodopa (Sinemet) and dopamine agonists. Our clinical trials are constantly testing new possibilities to improve and broaden your options. Our specialized clinical pharmacist is available to help you manage your medications, minimize side effects, and reduce medication costs.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Surgery
DBS is an option for people whose symptoms fail to respond to medications, or who experience serious side effects from medications. Similar to heart pacemaker technology, very thin wires (“electrodes”) are implanted into movement control areas of your brain to interrupt the abnormal activity causing symptoms like tremors and slowness.