Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that causes tremors (shaking), muscle stiffness, and a range of other symptoms. At Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Cahouet Center for Comprehensive Parkinson’s Care, our specialists are experienced in some of the most effective and innovative Parkinson’s treatments, offering promising potential for symptom relief.
Our personalized care approach is designed for the unique needs of people with Parkinson’s disease. We’ll help you overcome the specific challenges you face today and in the future, improving your symptoms as well as your quality of life.
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease results from the loss of nerve cells that make dopamine in the brain. Dopamine helps people regulate movements and emotional responses. Parkinson’s disease causes a range of motor symptoms that affect how you move. It can also cause non-motor symptoms that affect you in other ways, causing sleep problems or mood changes.
The condition is progressive, which means it worsens over time. Researchers continue to search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease. At AHN’s Cahouet Center for Comprehensive Parkinson’s Care, we’ll discuss the condition with you in detail and support you in every way. Learn more about our approach to comprehensive Parkinson’s care.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms
People experience Parkinson’s symptoms differently. As nerve cell damage worsens, people may notice an increased severity of existing symptoms or new symptoms may occur.
People with Parkinson’s often experience:
- Motor symptoms:
- Problems moving, such as from stiffness in your arms or legs that can’t be explained by a recent injury
- Slight shaking of the hands or fingers, called a tremor, that happens when you’re sitting or resting (not participating in physical activity)
- Loss of balance
- Non-motor symptoms:
- Constipation or other bowel changes
- Sleep problems, such as insomnia
- Mood changes, such as depression or a general disinterest in things you used to love
Get expert Parkinson’s disease treatment at Allegheny Health Network
Treatments today largely focus on improving symptoms. However, researchers continue to explore what exactly causes Parkinson’s disease so they can find a cure.
Our neurologists have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. We also participate in clinical trials that study new ways to treat this condition.
After a thorough evaluation of your symptoms, our care team will provide a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. You may find that a combination of therapies helps ease your symptoms. Because the condition is progressive, we meet with you regularly to address any symptoms that worsen or change over time.
At AHN, our specialists have a deep knowledge of the most effective Parkinson’s treatments available today:
- Medication: Your physician will help determine which medications would benefit you most, based on your symptoms and specific challenges. The medications you take (or the dosage) may change as the condition progresses.
- Physical therapy: Certain exercises or activities, such as boxing, may improve Parkinson’s symptoms. We work closely with Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania to help you find Parkinson’s-specific resources and activities that may benefit you.
- Speech or occupational therapy: Our specially trained speech and occupational therapists can help you relearn how to complete daily activities that have become difficult due to symptoms.
- Surgery: Certain patients experience significant symptom relief from neurosurgical procedures, such as deep brain stimulation. Our specialists have performed hundreds of these innovative procedures, which involve surgically implanting electrodes into the brain to regulate impulses. Read how DBS changed the life of Richard, an AHN patient with Parkinson’s disease.
AHN Cahouet Center for Comprehensive Parkinson’s Care - Bellevue
575 Lincoln Ave.
Bellevue, PA 15202
AHN Cahouet Center for Comprehensive Parkinson’s Care - Forbes Hospital
2570 Haymaker Road
Monroeville, PA 15146