Has your aging loved one been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Or are you interested in learning about preventative Parkinson’s measures? In any case, your mind should be a little more at ease after reading this article which details the promising advanced Parkinson’s treatment options that are finally coming to light. The in-home Parkinson’s caregivers at Home Care Assistance of Phoenix always stay up to date on the most recent treatment plans to ensure Phoenix seniors receive the best Parkinson’s care possible, and so that we can pass this information along to you.
There are three major treatments that have been effective in the treatment and/or prevention of Parkinson’s: vitamin D supplementation, gene therapy, and brain cell transplants.
Vitamin D Supplementation
Vitamin D is a hot topic when it comes to treating Parkinson’s. Multiple studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s. Vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D, has been known to significantly slow down further development of Parkinson’s and in some cases, stop it in its tracks. Unfortunately, vitamin D does not reverse the symptoms already present and is only to be relied upon for preventative measures.
Gene therapy is a very exciting field of study for anyone dealing with the effects of Parkinson’s disease. A ground-breaking treatment called ProSavin has greatly improved patients’ scores on movement tests. The treatment essentially reprograms the brain cells to produce dopamine, the lack of which causes stiffness, tremors and loss of balance among Parkinson’s patients. The three genes are carried into the brain by an HIV-like virus, called a lentivirus. Once in the brain, the virus fuses its genetic material with brain cells, which has a long-lasting outcome in the patient.
So far, the treatment has been regarded as very safe but only a small number of subjects have been tested. Money is also an issue as it is very expensive to get this kind of treatment; however, it is believed that the price will come down as gene therapy becomes more popular.
Brain Cell Transplants
Another promising treatment for Parkinson’s is a brain cell transplant. Researchers in Los Angeles have helped one man put his Parkinson’s into remission. The procedure involved removing a pebble-sized piece of his brain. The brain cells were then cultured in a lab until they started to produce dopamine, the brain chemical in charge of body movement.
After the cells were producing enough dopamine, they were put right back into the man’s brain. At first, scans indicated that his body was producing dopamine with the new brain cells; however, later scans showed that dopamine levels had declined back to the levels seen before treatment. The man still showed a remission in symptoms with the lowered dopamine, but it’s too soon to tell if this miraculous recovery was only temporary.
What can YOU Do?
The best thing you can do for yourself or for your loved one with Parkinson’s is to talk to a doctor about these treatments to see if they are viable options. There are many ways to manage and slow down symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. As the leaders in quality Phoenix senior care, we always recommend that seniors and their families educate themselves on possible treatments and get the help of an hourly or 24/7 Parkinson’s caregiver before reaching levels of exhaustion or burnout.
If you could use the help of a trained and experienced Parkinson’s care companion from Home Care Assistance of Phoenix, call (602) 388-1085. We would be happy to answer any of your questions either on the phone or via a complimentary in-home consultation.