An Update on Addressing Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson’s disease is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disease. It affects approximately 1 million people in the United States and 7 to 10 million people worldwide. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons and has both motor and non-motor features. Cardinal features of Parkinson’s disease include resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. As of the time of this writing, there is no approved disease-modifying treatment available. Management of Parkinson’s disease includes symptomatic treatment aimed at improving patients’ quality of life. While medications work well in managing patients’ symptoms initially, with disease progression and further loss of dopaminergic neurons, patients’ symptoms re-emerge and they begin to experience motor complications such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. These complications can be debilitating and can severely impact patients’ quality of life. Tailoring pharmacotherapy to account for these complications is often necessary in order for patients to maintain function. Similarly, screening for and treating non-motor symptoms is important in the management of Parkinson’s disease.

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Course Description

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disease. It affects approximately 1 million people in the United States and 7 to 10 million people worldwide. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons and has both motor and non-motor features. Cardinal features of Parkinson’s disease include resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. As of the time of this writing, there is no approved disease-modifying treatment available. Management of Parkinson’s disease includes symptomatic treatment aimed at improving patients’ quality of life. While medications work well in managing patients’ symptoms initially, with disease progression and further loss of dopaminergic neurons, patients’ symptoms re-emerge and they begin to experience motor complications such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. These complications can be debilitating and can severely impact patients’ quality of life. Tailoring pharmacotherapy to account for these complications is often necessary in order for patients to maintain function. Similarly, screening for and treating non-motor symptoms is important in the management of Parkinson’s disease.

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