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Parkinson Disease Medications
June 11, 2009
Donna Diaz, RN, MS, Coordinator at Hospital of St. Raphael, spoke to VNA Community Healthcare's Parkinson Support Group on the medications involved in the treatment of Parkinson Disease (PD). She strongly suggested that caregivers maintain an hourly diary including patient’s response to every medication that they take and bring this with them to the doctor’s visits. This information helps the doctor adjust medications, as needed.
Donna reiterated that the patient and their caregiver are often more expert about specific medication reactions their doctors. No two patients are alike and don’t have the same chemistry. Thus, they may not have the same symptoms or respond the same way to medications as other patients. Medicines are chemicals and create good, bad and ugly side effects. So talk to the doctor!
Introduce new medications slowly which allows the caregiver to record changes appropriately. Taking medications with a glass of water is important, but most patients do not do it. Donna also said there may be no harm stopping all PD medications and starting over slowly.
Orthostatic hypertension (the act of going from a sitting position to a standing and getting dizzy) is a major problem with PD patients.
Elastic stockings can help a PD patient enormously.
Most PD patients suffer from other health issues. In PD patients any medical changes that occur quickly are probably not PD. Urinary tract infections fit into this category. An autopsy is the only way to definitely diagnose PD. There was a study of people who were diagnosed with PD and after autopsies there were many people who really didn’t have it.
There are two conditions that prompt nursing home admissions:
CT chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association (click here)
Book entitled Making the Connection Between Brain and Behavior: Coping with Parkinson’s Disease by Joseph Friedman.
The movie “Awakenings”
VNA Community Healthcare serves Shoreline CT with events and classes geared to provide family caregiver support, homecare for seniors, up-to-date information on diseases, Medicare and Medicaid, and wellness activities.
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Donna Diaz, RN, Parkinson's Disease expert