A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease doesn’t necessarily qualify you for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. But if your symptoms become serious enough, this disease may help you get the financial assistance you need, when you need it.
Meanwhile, there are a great number of treatments that have helped many Parkinson’s sufferers to live much fuller, healthier lives. These treatments include medications, surgery, rehabilitation and lifestyle changes.
Parkinson’s medication therapy includes:
- Levadopa. This medication is the most used and has been for over 30 years. It works to diminish the motor problem symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.
- Dopamine agonists. This group of drugs also works to aid in motor function and is mostly used in the early stages. It is most often administered with a skin patch.
- Other drugs. Medications like amantadine and anticholinergics may also be used in treating symptoms not responding to the primary drugs.
Surgical options for Parkinson’s:
- While surgery was once done a great deal, the introduction of Levadopa has cut back on the number performed.
- Parkinson’s surgical techniques have improved greatly and, in people with advanced stages of the disease who do not respond as well to the drugs, it is still a viable option.
- There are three types of Parkinson’s surgery: lesion surgery, deep brain stimulation and neural grafting or tissue transplants.
- Lesion surgery targets deep parts of the brain and burns the tissue there, creating lesions. The aim is to control the parts of the brain that are causing tremor.
- Deep brain stimulation places a small electrode in the parts of the brain that control movement.
- Neural grafting or tissue transplants are still in the experimental stage. Researchers hope to find a way to replace the parts of the brain that are not functioning correctly.
In addition, Parkinson’s patients are urged to live and eat in healthy ways, and there is some indication that rehabilitation exercises can help to maintain mobility.
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