Parkinson disease, which occurs when certain nerve cells in the brain are damaged and cannot adequately produce dopamine, is one of the many brain disorders treated by neurologists at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute.
It is estimated that three out of 100 people in the United States will have Parkinson disease by age 70, making it the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Although the condition usually develops after the age of 65, approximately 15% of those diagnosed are under age 50.
Symptoms of Parkinson disease include:
- Tremors or shaking
- Involuntary movements
- Shuffling gait
- Unexplained falls
- Slowness of movement
However, those who show the symptoms of Parkinson disease may have a different disorder. It is estimated that gait disorders affect 8%–19% of non-institutionalized older adults in the United States.
At the Berman Brain & Spine Institute, we do a thorough evaluation, including using video gait analysis, to make the correct diagnosis. Other gait disorders that we treat include:
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus
- Parkinson-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 offered at the Berman Brain & Spine Institute may include:
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Caregiver support groups
- Clinical trials of new medications
Patients also may participate in the Parkinson Wellness Program at LifeBridge Health and 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 disease or other gait disorders, or the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, call 1-888-747-8899. You can also view our brochures online: Parkinson Disease and Gait Disorders and Movement Disorders, as well as a profile of Howard D. Weiss, M.D., director of the Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorder programs.