Asked in ScienceConditions and DiseasesDown SyndromeGastrointestinal Tract
Is there a cure Parkinson's Syndrome?
November 04, 2007 1:55AM
There are no treatments that have been proven to slow the course of PD, although research published in 2003 suggested that coenzyme Q10 may offer a slight benefit in this regard. The study has not been replicated, and its authors noted it would be premature to recommend treatment with this very expensive supplement. Additional claims have been made that two medications used to treat PD symptoms-selegiline and dopamine agonists-may have some disease-slowing effects. These claims are not widely accepted.
The treatment of the symptoms of PD is complex for several reasons. First, PD is a progressive disease, getting worse over time, so that the medications and doses that work well early in the disease are insufficient later on. Second, the most effective drugs have long-term side effects that are troubling and difficult to control. Third, there are a lot of different treatment options, and finding the right combination can be time consuming. Fourth, the PD patient is likely being treated for other conditions associated with advancing age, and these conditions or their treatment may interfere with treatment of PD. Finally, a major treatment option for late-stage PD is surgery, but the risks of surgery are significant, and determining when and what kind of surgery to perform is a complicated decision.
Once the diagnosis of PD has been made, a central question is when to begin treatment. Treatment is typically not started right away (unless the patient elects to use coenzyme Q10), but instead is delayed until symptoms begin to interfere with his or her ability to work or engage in activities of daily living. This may be a year or even more after diagnosis.