Other options for Parkinson’s Disease

Anyone suffering from Parkinson’s disease knows exactly how the symptoms rob you of your normal way of life. Suddenly the things that you earlier took for granted, seem like challenges you face each day. Right from getting dressed in the morning to driving to your favorite restaurant for dinner, become tasks you need help for. But this doesn’t have to be so. We agree that the muscle stiffness, tremors and weakness are not desirable, but they don’t have to interfere with your everyday activities. While the first step towards curbing the symptoms is to get on appropriate medication, you may want to research some alternative treatments and therapies, taking into consideration the fact that modern medicine has no cure for this degenerative neurological disorder.

You must realize that there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease in Allopath or complementary medicinal therapies, however some of these therapies have been adapted by PD patients and show sufficient effect for certain symptomatic relief. There are quite a few complementary therapies available today, ranging from Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Chiropractic treatments, Herbal medicine, Homeopathy, Magnet therapy, and massage therapy to meditation, Yoga therapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Tai chi, Shiatsu, etc. Once you research some of these therapies, you will realize that contrary to popular belief not all of them are natural and risk-free. Just like medicinal allopathic treatments, these too have their pros and cons. Hence, it is all the more important to have detailed knowledge about the therapy and what it entails before opting for any treatment.

You must take the time to figure out which therapy will best suit your needs and find the best therapist in town. Keep in mind that most therapists are not medical doctors, even though you may come across some using a ‘DR’ title. Do not hesitate to ask your therapist about his qualifications and credentials. The good ones are often proud of their achievements and don’t mind the imposition. It is also important that you keep your general physician and neuro-specialist in the loop about opting for any other treatment in combination with your medication and other advised healthcare. In many cases physicians and PD doctors recommend certain therapies for specific symptoms or patients. After all, we no longer live in a society where the doctor’s word is the last one to hang by. Today’s patients are well-informed about their disease and its scientific causes, thanks to the Internet and other resources. They are educated enough to make their own choices about treatments.

Many Parkinson’s disease patients look at complementary medicine as the last resort. They consider it only once the symptoms are severe and the medication is not able to help much. Rather, these therapies should be considered when you have just started to experience some symptoms. If your symptoms are at an advanced level, complementary therapies can only provide very temporary and little relief. In such cases, you must consider the option of surgery. The latest surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease is the DBS depression surgery. DBS stands for Deep Brain Stimulation. In this procedure electrodes are placed in the part of your brain that controls movement. These electrodes, controlled by a pacemaker-type machine, send minor pulses to the brain, which help control symptoms such as tremor to a large extent. This surgery has shown good results for most and should be considered. You can find detail information about this procedure online. But, you must also bear in mind that this is after all a brain surgery, and hence comes with a certain risk factor. Complications include intracerebral hemorrhage, infection from the surgery, etc.

The important thing is to not lose hope. There is a lot of scientific research being done in this area, and even if today you feel a DBS depression surgery is not for you, something better might come along in another couple of years.

Stefan is a freelance journalist currently working for a British medical journal. He often writes about surgical procedures like DBS depression surgery, Pallidotomy, Thalamic surgery, and Subthalamic surgery for Parkinson’s disease. Having studies Traditional Chinese Medicine, he also blogs about the use of Chinese herbs and Acupuncture to curb certain PD symptoms.
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