Author | Maureen Haske-palomino, MSN, NP-BC

Articles

Parkinson Disease: REFERENCES: EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE: RELEVANT GUIDELINES:

October 01, 2006

ABSTRACT: Signs that strongly suggest Parkinson disease (PD) include unilateral hand tremor, slowed or decreased movement, and gait changes. Postural alterations include leaning forward or asymmetric shoulder height; the arm may not swing when the patient walks, or it may be held flexed at the elbow. Patients may report increasing difficulties in occupational and social functioning. Mimics of PD include essential tremor, normal pressure hydrocephalus, other neurodegenerative diseases, and drug-induced parkinsonism. Most patients report such nonmotor symptoms as sleep disturbances, visual difficulties, bowel and bladder problems, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Cognitive impairment in many patients takes the form of slowing of memory and difficulty with visual spatial tasks and executive function. A more realistic treatment goal than tremor eradication is improved overall mobility.

Parkinson Disease: REFERENCES: EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE: RELEVANT GUIDELINES:

October 01, 2006

ABSTRACT: Although levodopa and the dopamine agonists remain the mainstays of treatment, the number of therapeutic options has increased, and trials of new medications are ongoing. Some trials are evaluating ways to alter disease progression. Medical management of the symptoms of Parkinson disease is generally successful but requires familiarity with the agents to avoid troublesome side effects. Deep brain stimulation surgery is an option for some patients whose symptoms are not adequately managed with medication.

Parkinson Disease

October 01, 2006

The decision about when to initiate therapy for Parkinson disease (PD) is highly individual and requires discussion with the patient. Delaying treatment because of a patient's fear of side effects may not be in his or her best interests.

Parkinson Disease: Diagnosis

October 01, 2006

Because the manifestations of Parkinson disease are protean and complex, the diagnosis can be difficult and treatment challenging. However, an awareness of the key clinical features and familiarity with 2 or 3 of the dopaminergic medications can facilitate management.