April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness month, which makes now a good time to talk about the warning signs of Parkinson’s disease and the importance of early intervention for this neurological disorder. Dr. Ross Coleman talks about Parkinson’s and Spectrum Health’s expertise in diagnosing and treating it.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.
Parkinson's disease symptoms worsen as the condition progresses over time. Signs and symptoms can be different for everyone, including:
- Slowed movement
- Rigid muscles
- Impaired posture and balance
- Loss of automatic movements
- Speech changes
- Writing changes
One treatment patients with Parkinson's disease could consider easing symptoms is Deep Brain Stimulation. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a therapy delivered to the brain, from a small implanted battery that generates small amounts of electricity (similar to a pacemaker for the heart). Spectrum Health provides this as a treatment option for some patients with moderate to advanced Parkinson’s disease, severe tremors, dystonia, and other conditions.
Spectrum also offers a special program for Parkinson's disease patients known as the Big and Loud program. It offers voice treatment certified (LSVT) Big and LSVT loud therapy programs and therapy services at multiple locations in West Michigan and coordinates with therapists at non-Spectrum locations to bring therapy options closer to home.
To learn more about Spectrum Health support groups and education for Parkinson’s disease patients and care providers, visit spectrumhealth.org/parkinsons, call (616)-447-1393, or email Neuronursenavigator@spectrumhealth.org.
Sponsored by Spectrum Health