Are you a nurse, physical therapist or other healthcare professional who wants to learn more about Parkinson’s disease and how this movement disorder is managed? Here are the key areas that will be addressed over 5 modules: Approximately 1 million Americans and an estimated 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease (PD); PD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and while the exact cause is unknown, there are some known risk factors; PD is characterized by a variety of motor symptoms (such as tremors, rigidity, and slowness of movement) as well as the lesser-known non-motor symptoms and neuropsychiatric symptoms; The various classes of medications (primarily levodopa) used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease will be discussed with an emphasis on proper dosing and timing to minimize dyskinesias and other side effects; Other strategies to address the non-motor and neuropsychiatric manifestations are reviewed along with surgical management, such as lesioning and deep brain stimulation; In addition to pharmacologic management, there are non-pharmacologic interventions, such as physical, speech and occupational therapies, as well as, exercise, which can play an important role in managing motor symptoms and optimizing function and quality of life; Lastly, the key principles of care for the hospitalized patient with PD are examined, including the importance of giving medications prescribed for motor symptoms on time, which medications should be avoided and other care considerations.
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