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Parkinson’s Disease, Part 2

Neda Frayha, MD and Stephen Reich, MD
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Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive movement disorder characterized by bradykinesia, cogwheel rigidity, tremor, and impaired balance. The diagnosis is a clinical one, based on history and physical alone. Symptoms often begin unilaterally and are gradual in onset and progression. Non-motor features of PD that can be debilitating to patients are autonomic dysfunction, such as orthostatic hypotension, constipation, and erectile dysfunction; sleep disturbances like REM sleep behavioral disorder and insomnia; and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. While there are several medications available to treat the symptoms of PD, the mainstay of treatment is levodopa, which is paired with carbidopa in a combination pill. The timing of doses is critical to the drug’s success, and should be taken into account if a patient with PD is hospitalized.

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Brian F. -

Great review. Any word on fecal transplants for tx?

Neda F., MD -

That's a great question, Brian! So far it seems there are a few case reports and animal studies, but no RCTs with human subjects. I imagine there'll be more research on this treatment option in the near future. Thanks for writing.

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The Buzz That Won't Quit Full episode audio for MD edition 193:13 min - 91 MB - M4AHippo PC RAP May 2018 Written Summary 622 KB - PDF

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