Movement Disorders Treatment Options
Several forms of medication are available for Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s disease, as well as an innovative and effective new surgical treatment called Deep Brain Stimulation.
Therapeutic Drug Treatments for Essential Tremor
Drug therapies for the treatment of essential tremor include beta-blockers and anticonvulsant medications that can be used alone or in combination to treat symptoms.
Approximately 50% to 70% of patients obtain some symptomatic relief from a beta-blocker called propranolol (Inderal®). Primidone (Mysoline®) an anticonvulsant medication related to phenobarbital, slows the central nervous system and helps to reduce or control seizure activity in more than half of patients.
Therapeutic Drug Treatments for Parkinson's Disease
Several types of therapeutic drug treatments are often used in combination to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease and/or to improve symptoms.
Selegiline (Deprenyl®) is the medication most often used to slow the progression of Parkinson’s. It appears to work best when used early in the course of the disease and can be combined with other medications that mimic the role of dopamine in the brain and stimulate certain parts of the brain and nervous system for enhanced muscle control. Another new type of drug treatment offers the ability to block an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. This medication works in combination with other drug therapies to produce an overall improvement in patients’ symptoms.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a relatively new surgery for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor, and dystonia. During DBS, electrodes are implanted within the brain to deliver electrical impulses that can greatly reduce tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and stiffness, and may also help balance problems. DBS can significantly lengthen the amount of “on” time and equips many patients to significantly reduce their medications. It can be performed on medically stable patients of almost any age.
- Patients with involuntary movements caused by medications experience a more than 80 percent reduction in involuntary movements. Freezing, or inability to move, is also markedly improved.
- Most patients report a 50 percent improvement in their walking and balance.
- Medications can often be reduced.
For more information about our Movement Disorders Clinic, please call (727) 461-8635.