Today was my long awaited visit with the Neurologist's Nurse Practitioner; a young lady who seems very knowledgeable in PD. The nice thing about an NP is they usually can take longer with the patient. She didn't even run and hide when I took out my 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with 10 questions looming before her eyes. I had half expected her to walk off the job when she saw my list. (just kidding)
I had two large concerns that had been offered by friends with some knowledge of PD as their parent(s) have/had PD.
1. When I tried the Carbodopa/Levodopoa combination drug when first diagnosed with PD, I was on the generic version. Would the brand name drug have made a difference. And, any chance of getting put on that brand name drug now?
Answer: No, the brand name drug would probably not have made a difference. No, they will not let me try it now. The reason I had to get off the non-brand-name drug was because I was starting to fall. (Remember, I fell into my desk that one day and knocked everything off it.) If they were to put me on the brand name drug now, there is too big of a risk that I would fall. That would just complicate my life even more.
I guess I would have to agree with that answer. Remember, one night, about 4 weeks ago, I did fall in the bedroom when getting up at night. I did not trip over anything as I'm extra careful about keeping things off the floor. My sense of balance is still way off and not likely to get too much better, even tho I'm doing some exercises to try to help retrain my brain for better balance. I am already at high risk for falling, so don't need to compound the problem.
2. Do the drugs you take to treat Parkinson's cause Dementia?
Answer: No. Many people that have PD do develop Dementia, but not the entire population of PD patients end up with Dementia. There are some drugs that they believe have a tendency to cause Dementia, but they are not the standard drugs used to treat PD.
The human of one of Mario's Twitter friends suggested I get the book "The Parkinson's Disease Treatment Book" by J. Eric Ahlskog, M.D. at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ahlskog specializes in Parkinson's. This book is about 2 inches thick and will take me a long time to read. But I did scan thru it today to check to see what Dr. Ahlskog had to say about drugs that might cause Dementia. Dr. Ahlskog lists several common drugs that fall into that category, but none of them are used to treat Parkinson's. If you have a history of PD in your family, especially if a parent had the disease, I would highly recommend this book. You can pick it up at Amazon.com. My copy came from there. It is a used, hard cover book, that looks brand new. (No, I'm not being compensated in any way for mentioning his book - not a bad idea tho. he he)
There is no cure for Parkinson's (unfortunately), but new advancements are being made weekly towards understanding and identifying the gene's involved.
I did ask the NP what was the best thing that I could do for myself. She said continue exercising as studies have shown that people that exercise, do better with PD in the long run.
She also was impressed that I had a blog, and also helped Mario write his blog. She said that was another positive in my life and to keep it up, along with being social on Twitter. He he - I didn't try to explain our animal community.
Unfortunately, she did not come up with a miracle cure, so I'm still feeling somewhat like the patient in the cartoon at the top of the page. ha ha - take my 3 Mirapex drugs today and pray for a cure for PD in the morning!
Thanks for reading my blog friends.