Parkinson's disease, which occurs when certain nerve cells in the brain are damaged and cannot produce dopamine adequately, is one of the many brain disorders treated by neurologists at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute.
It is estimated that 3 out of 100 people in the United States will have Parkinson's disease by age 70, making it the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Although the condition usually develops after age 65, approximately 15 percent of those diagnosed are under age 50.
- Tremors or shaking
- Involuntary movements
- Shuffling gait
- Unexplained falls
- Slowness of movement
However, those who show symptoms of Parkinson's disease may have a different disorder. It is estimated that gait disorders affect 8 to 19 percent of non-institutionalized older adults in the United States.
At the Berman Brain & Spine Institute, we perform a thorough evaluation, including video gait analysis, to make the correct diagnosis. Other gait disorders we treat include:
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus
- Parkinson's-plus condition
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Multiple system atrophy
- Corticobasel degeneration
- Vascular parkinsonism
- Drug-induced parkinsonism
Our neurologists work closely with rehabilitation specialists and other team members to develop individualized plans of care. This interdisciplinary approach allows long-term care for those with chronic disease.
Treatment options may include:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Caregiver support groups
- Clinical trials of new medications
Patients also may participate in the Parkinson's Wellness Program at LifeBridge Health & Fitness, where a group meets twice each week with a physical therapist and certified instructor. This program is designed to help patients maintain the highest level of activity possible. It includes strength training, balance and flexibility exercises, music accompaniment, tai chi, complementary lectures, and group support.
For more information about Parkinson's disease, other gait disorders, or the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, please call 1-888-747-8899. You can also view our brochures: Parkinson's Disease and Gait Disorders, Movement Disorders, as well as a profile of Howard D. Weiss, M.D., director of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder programs.