April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a time when we come together to raise awareness about this debilitating disease and the impact it has on individuals and their families.
The Kensington Falls Church was proud to partner with leading Movement Disorders Specialists to bring you an enlightening and engaging discussion about the latest breakthrough innovations in Parkinson’s treatment.
Our Falls Church team understands and sees the challenges that come with living with Parkinson’s. The Kensington team is committed to providing our community with the latest information and resources to help those with Parkinson’s and their loved ons.
Our panel of medical experts shared their insights and expertise, providing valuable information about new treatments and therapies that are changing the landscape of Parkinson’s care.
Event discussion topics:
- Learn the new definition of this debilitating disease
- Find out how a developed multi-disciplinary approach has proven beneficial for many people with Parkinson’s
- Discover the latest in non-surgical interventions
Together, we can make a significant difference every day in the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s.
Experts on Parkinson’s and other movement disorders
Michele Tagliai, MD
Dr. Michele Tagliati holds the positions of Director of the Movement Disorders Program, Professor of Neurology, and Vice Chair of the Neurology department at Cedars-Sinai.
His research focuses on both early and advanced therapeutics for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dystonia. Dr. Tagliati is credited with the pioneering use of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s and dystonia, which has led to advances in outcome predictors and therapeutic settings.
He is currently researching the nonmotor and nondopaminergic mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s disease.
Jeff Bronstein, MD, Ph.D.
The Director of Movement Disorders at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine is Professor of Neurology Jeff Bronstein, MD, Ph.D.
- He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
- Dr. Bronstein completed his M.D. and Ph.D. at UCLA, receiving the Medical Scientist Training Program Award.
- He underwent a Neurology residency and Movement Disorders fellowship at UCLA and Queens Square in London.
- His longest-lasting position began when he assumed the role of Director of the Movement Disorders Program at UCLA in 1996.
Alongside his clinical interests in the medical and surgical management of Parkinson’s disease (PD), Wilson’s disease, and other movement disorders, he also leads a basic science laboratory to investigate the root causes of PD.
Challenges of keeping up with Parkinson’s Disease innovations
It’s estimated that up to one million people in America are living with Parkinson’s disease, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. It’s characterized by tremors, rigidity, and slow movements, among other symptoms.
As the disease progresses, the needs of those affected can change—making it difficult to adjust dynamically.
New techniques and innovations are always in need and being developed—by scientists and researchers everywhere dedicated to improving and enriching the quality of life for those with Parkinson’s.
When specialized care techniques are applied to those living with Parkinson’s Disease, it can often provide the quality of life they need. At-home or family caregivers have to rely on similar techniques, but many have to create a learn-as-you-go system to incorporate them.
The history of Parkinson’s Treatments
Parkinson’s disease was first identified in 1817 by British physician James Parkinson.
Over the years since then, numerous treatments have been developed to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, although there is still no known cure.
The first treatments ever developed for Parkinson’s
The first Parkinson’s treatments were developed in the early 1900s and included drugs such as atropine and scopolamine. These drugs were used to treat the tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease, but they had limited effectiveness and often caused significant side effects.
In the 1960s, levodopa was introduced as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa was found to be a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is deficient in Parkinson’s disease.
By increasing dopamine levels in the brain, levodopa can help to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa is still widely used as a Parkinson’s treatment today, although it can cause side effects such as dyskinesia (involuntary movements).
Other Parkinson’s treatments
Other Parkinson’s treatments have been developed in recent decades, including dopamine agonists, which mimic the effects of dopamine in the brain, and deep brain stimulation, which involves the implantation of electrodes in the brain to stimulate specific areas.
Both of these treatments can be effective in alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, although they also have potential side effects and are not suitable for everyone.
Newer Parkinson’s Treatments
Researchers are continuing to investigate new Parkinson’s treatments, including gene therapy and stem cell therapy.
Gene therapy involves inserting genes into the brain to produce proteins that can help to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, while stem cell therapy involves implanting new dopamine-producing cells into the brain.
These treatments are still in the experimental stage, but they show promise as potential Parkinson’s treatments in the future. With ongoing research into new treatments such as gene therapy and stem cell therapy, there is hope that a cure for Parkinson’s disease may one day be found.
Kensington Falls Church community care
The Kensington Falls Church has decades of experience available to our residents through our dedicated staff.
Our Promise to care for your loved ones as if they were members of our own family in our assisted living and memory care neighborhoods.
Our experiences in dealing with residents with Parkinson’s, other motor-skill diseases, or various dementia diseases and conditions can greatly benefit those who are just learning how to cope for the first time.
Caregiving is our passion.
From our dedicated memory care neighborhoods to our fine dining facilities, The Kensington Falls Church knows how maintaining and improving the many aspects of your loved needs and wants can greatly improve their quality of life.
If you’re interested in discovering more, reach out to us and see how we can improve lives together.