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Why Do You Require More Than Neurologists for Parkinson’s

Updated: Feb 3



Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurological condition. Hence, it is most likely that the specialist that one sees for its diagnosis and further management would be a neurologist. And if you have access to one, then a neurologist with special interest and/or experience in managing PD.




Quality of Life for PwPD


Note that we are using the word "manage" rather than treat. The reason being, it is a progressive disease, with no known cure as of today. PD related symptoms and PD’s progressive impact on the brain continue to get worse over the years. However, while living with PD, PwPD and their families would want to ensure that the symptoms are reduced as much as possible, such that the person can carry on with their life. Also, they would want to ensure that quality of life is maintained for as long as possible. With this aim in mind, one may be required to visit more specialists other than a neurologist. The neurologist himself/herself may in fact suggest who could help with a specific requirement.


Other specialists You Might Visit:


Your family physician


When you start to see symptoms that seem to be PD, the first doctor you should ideally visit is your family physician. They will generally know your medical history and will direct you to a neurologist if required. If you are later diagnosed with PD, the family doctor can the be a regular guiding light for a variety of needs that may arise.


Speech Therapist


PD many times results in speech impediments, facial expression changes and language challenges. A speech therapist can spend a few sessions, guide the PwPD and the caretaker family member to practice accordingly, and thus reduce the impact. He/she can continue the sessions depending on individual requirements.


Occupational Therapist


When a person’s daily activities, work or leisure is impacted due to PD, then an occupational therapist may come in and help them to maintain their independence for a longer duration. They may also suggest changes in the home environment to keep the PwPD safe from falls or make their movements easier. They may teach alternative skills to carry out your regular activities. For example, they may show you how to maintain strength and flexibility in the hand to continue to write legibly. Another example of adaptive skill is slowing down the cursor speed in computer or phone so that it is easier for the PwPD to see and control.


Physiotherapist


Exercise is very important for PwPD. Physiotherapist can show you the best exercises suiting your needs, and change them as the condition changes. Also, they can help maintain your balance and good posture despite impairments brought on by PD.


Psychologist


The long journey of progressing PD, can have an impact on a person’s mental health. Many of them are known to experience anxiety, excessive worry or even depression. Some may also have memory problems and cognitive difficulties similar to dementia in the later stages of the disease. A trained psychologist can counsel PwPD and the family to deal with these effects. A calmer mind can aid them accept the condition rather than see it as the end of life. Therapy helps the families to adjust better to constantly evolving relationships with the affected person, as they become more dependent on the family or caregiver.






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