Pharmacological Management of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects motor function. This disease has become an epidemic, affecting approximately 1 percent of individuals over the age of 65 years old . It is caused by decreased dopamine production in the basal ganglia due to degeneration of dopamine-secreting neurons ,. Initially, people with Parkinson's may be asymptomatic with the first clinical symptoms appearing after 60% of the dopaminergic neurons have degenerated in the substantia nigra . Cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's include bradykinesia, akinesia, rigidity, and resting tremors ,. The exact cause of Parkinson's is unknown; however, contributing factors may include trauma, infection, cortical degeneration, antipsychotic drugs and cerebrovascular disease . If Parkinson's goes untreated, total incapacitation will occur due to uncontrolled motor problems. This is why it is extremely important for people with Parkinson's to be prescribed the proper drug regimen.
Levodopa, MAO-B inhibitors, Dopamine agonist, and Anticholinergic drugs are the main medications used in the treatment of the neurodegenerative condition, Parkinson’s Disease. Understanding the importance and impact of antiparkinsonian medications on our patients living with this disease is imperative. Being able to recognize early warning signs of adverse symptoms of the medications such as: weakness, dizziness, confusion, and dyskinesias could greatly alter our plan of care and the patient’s safety. If left unaddressed, these adverse effects could substantially decrease our overall quality of care that we could administer. Furthermore, if we had a better grasp on how the drug worked within the body from the time it was given, to the point of excretion, a physical therapist may be able to plan their time of care accordingly to avoid these adverse issues.
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