We want to welcome you to our new website feature and video segments, which highlight some of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) from people with Parkinson’s disease, and allows you to “meet” some of our movement disorders specialists who will provide short responses to each question. In this segment, Cynthia Comella, MD, will welcome you to the program at Rush University Medical Center and describe what a Movement Disorders neurologist is.
How is Parkinson’s disease diagnosed? Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed by the clinical examination. Currently, there are no laboratory tests or brain scans that make the diagnosis. In this video, Katie Kompoliti, MD, highlights some of the features that lead to the diagnosis.
What is Parkinsonism-plus? Patients sometimes will have symptoms that resemble Parkinson’s disease, and may even have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease by a neurologist. However, there are other neurological diseases that are much rarer than Parkinson’s disease but may have parkinson-like symptoms. Christopher Goetz, MD, will provide some of the features that lead us to a diagnosis of Parkinsonism-plus.
What are some of the non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease? Although we diagnose Parkinson’s disease based on the motor findings, there are other symptoms that can be related to Parkinson’s disease that are not reflected by changes in movement. It is important to recognize that not all patients get these, but if they occur you should discuss these with your physician. In this segment, Brandon Barton, MD, provides a description of some of these non-motor features.
When should I start treatment of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease? This is a very personal issue, warranting a discussion between you and your neurologist. Some people require treatment to maintain their employment, and may need to start symptom treatment earlier to keep their job. Other people choose to wait until symptoms become more a problem. If balance problems or falling occur, most neurologists would agree that the time for symptom treatment has arrived. In this video segment, Cynthia Comella, MD, addresses this question in more detail.
What is the role of exercise in Parkinson’s Disease? Exercise is increasingly recognized as an important aspect of treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease. Although it is sometimes difficult to get started on an exercise program, Deborah Hall, MD, will explain some of the recent evidence that it is of great importance.
Are stem cells useful for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease? Stem cell treatment for Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common questions people with Parkinson’s disease will ask. It has been a somewhat controversial topic in that “stem cell” therapy has been offered in countries outside the United States. These therapies have not been shown to work, and are very expensive to receive. Deborah Hall, MD, explains the current status of stem cells for Parkinson’s disease.