Parkinson's Disease Specialist

Bharat Tolia, MD -  - Neurologist

Comprehensive Neurology

Bharat Tolia, MD

Neurologist located in Pontiac, MI

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition, but you can still have a great quality of life if you’ve had a diagnosis. Bharat Tolia, MD, is an expert at treating neurological and neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease at Comprehensive Neurology Headache and Sleep Center in Pontiac, Michigan. Call or schedule an appointment online to learn more about your Parkinson’s treatment options.

Parkinson's Disease Q & A

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological condition that affects certain brain cells. It’s a progressive disease that leads to alterations in movement and other functions controlled by these cells.

There are thousands of nerve cells, or neurons, in your brain. These nerve cells produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is a chemical messenger and communicates with your body’s central nervous system.

In Parkinson’s disease, the neurons in a certain area of the brain slowly deteriorate or die. The symptoms that are usually associated with Parkinson’s are the result of a decrease in dopamine levels.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s symptoms develop gradually over time, but commonly include:

  • Tremors or shaking in the hands or fingers
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
  • Stiff or rigid muscles
  • Balance and posture issues
  • Impaired automatic movements like blinking or smiling
  • Changes in speech

Other challenges can accompany the physical symptoms caused by Parkinson’s. Some of these include cognitive issues like dementia, emotional changes and depression, sleeping problems, and difficulty swallowing. It is also common for people to develop incontinence or suffer from constipation.

What causes Parkinson’s disease?

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but some contributing factors include genetic mutations, head trauma, and exposure to environmental toxins like herbicides and pesticides.

Additional risk factors for developing Parkinson’s disease include age and being male. If you have a close family relative with Parkinson’s, it can increase your chances, but they increase more significantly if you have the genetic mutation associated with the disease.

Some research suggests that regular exercise, caffeine, and green tea may reduce your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

How is Parkinson’s disease diagnosed and treated?

Accurately diagnosing Parkinson’s disease early is an important step in managing the condition and your quality of life.

Dr. Tolia reviews your symptoms and performs a full physical that includes personal and family medical histories. As part of your workup, Dr. Tolia conducts a neurological exam that evaluates your fine motor skills, coordination, and walking.

Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have a cure at this time, but Dr. Tolia has several therapies available to delay its progression and alleviate your symptoms. Some of these treatments include:

  • Medications
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Diet, rest, and exercise
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy

In some cases, surgery might be beneficial for Parkinson’s symptoms.

Call or schedule an appointment with Dr. Tolia online today to learn how he can help manage your Parkinson’s diagnosis and improve your quality of life.