Welcome to our new video FAQ feature, which highlights some of the frequently asked questions we receive from patients with movement disorders. It also allows you to meet some of our movement disorders specialists from Rush University Medical Center, who will provide short responses to each question.
Introduction: What is a movement disorder specialist?
In this introductory video, Cynthia Comella, MD, welcomes you to the Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders program at Rush University Medical Center and describes what a movement disorders neurologist is.
What is parkinsonism-plus?
Patients sometimes have symptoms that resemble Parkinson's disease, and may even have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease by a neurologist. But there are other neurological diseases that are much rarer than Parkinson's disease and may have parkinson-like symptoms. Christopher Goetz, MD, explains some features that lead to a diagnosis of parkinsonism-plus.
How do neurologists diagnose Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson's disease is diagnosed by clinical examination, and there currently are no laboratory tests or brain scans to help make the diagnosis. Katie Kompoliti, MD, highlights some features that lead to the diagnosis.
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, explains some of the recent evidence highlighting its great importance.
Are stem cells useful for the treatment of Parkinson's disease?
Questions about stem cell treatment for Parkinson's disease are common. Stem cell therapies have been offered outside the United States but 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.
When should I start treatment for symptoms of Parkinson's disease?
This is a personal issue warranting a discussion with your neurologist. Some people require treatment to maintain employment and may need to start it earlier. Others choose to wait until symptoms become more of a problem. If balance problems or falling occur, most neurologists would agree that the time for treatment has arrived. Cynthia Comella, MD, addresses this in more detail.
What are some of the non-motor features of Parkinson's disease?
Although we diagnose Parkinson's disease based on the motor findings, other symptoms can be related that are not reflected by changes in movement. Not all patients get these, but if they occur you should discuss them with your physician. Brandon Barton, MD, describes some of these non-motor features.