Treating Parkinson's Disease

Dr. Dean Johnston, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Neurologist, discusses treating Parkinson's disease.

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Dr. Dean Johnston, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Neurologist, discusses treating Parkinson's disease.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Dean Johnston, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Neurologist

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Many patients who suffer from Parkinson’s symptoms do not require treatment, at least initially.

As they progress, they may require treatment to allow them to do some of the activities that they enjoy throughout their lifetime. There are a number of medications that can be very effective in treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and these are in two main groups.

Dopamine agonists are drugs that mimic dopamine and act on dopamine receptors to facilitate movement and to reduce symptoms. The replacement of dopamine by using oral levodopa is probably the most effective way of managing Parkinson’s symptoms, and the effects are almost immediate.

Parkinson’s symptoms can also be managed by lifestyle modification. Certainly maintenance of physical fitness, improving balance and using a physiotherapist or personal trainer to assist in those endeavours can help reduce the effect or the impact of Parkinson’s symptoms on a specific individual.

Parkinson’s is typically a very slowly progressive condition, and the treatments can be adapted to an individual’s specific symptoms or their progression. It’s very difficult to predict where a patient will be a year or two years down the road, and therefore, it’s important to involve their family doctor and a neurologist to help them manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.


Presenter: Dr. Dean Johnston, Neurologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Neurologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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