Parkinson’s Disease

Nationally Ranked Team for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease occurs when brain cells that help with movement and coordination die off, leading to tremors and trouble with walking and movement. The cells that are lost in this progressive disease produce dopamine, which is needed to send the nerve impulses that trigger movement. This disease usually develops after age 50 and is one of the most common nervous system disorders in older adults. 

If you think you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease, you want a top-rated and experienced team. Loyola Medicine’s nationally ranked team will work with you to develop a treatment plan to improve your quality of life. 

Our compassionate doctors, nurses and support staff understand that Parkinson’s can be life-changing not only for the patient, but also for family members—and we want to help you during this emotional time.  Loyola takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and provides support services for patients and families. 

Why Choose Loyola for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease?

Loyola’s neurology and neurosurgery services are nationally recognized. As an academic medical center, Loyola provides compassionate, exceptional care to patients and trains future leaders in neurology and neurosurgery. In addition, Loyola’s neuro intensive care unit is staffed by trained neurology nurses, who have earned Magnet status.

How is Parkinson’s Diseases Diagnosed?

Early signs of Parkinson’s disease may include muscle stiffness, rigidity and hand shaking. Other symptoms include:

  • Bad posture
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation
  • Decreased movement
  • Difficulty with walking and balance
  • Emotional changes, such as feeling anxious or depressed
  • Fatigue
  • Freezing, a sudden but temporary inability to move, which usually affects walking
  • Pill-rolling tremor, in which the thumb involuntarily rubs against the index finger
  • Sleep problems
  • Slowed movement, or bradykinesia
  • Sudden low blood pressure when standing up, or orthostatic hypotension
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Thinking problems
  • Weakness of face or throat muscles
  • Writing changes

While there is no single test to definitively confirm Parkinson’s, Loyola neurologists are highly experienced in diagnosing these conditions. During your visit your doctor will:

  • Take a detailed medical and personal history
  • Conduct a thorough neurological exam, checking for facial expression changes, tremors, stiffness, balance and walking problems
  • Order blood tests
  • Possibly prescribe medication

What Treatment Options are Available for Parkinson’s Disease?

Loyola neurologists treat all movement disorders, including Parkinson’s, dystonia and Huntington’s disease. Our compassionate specialists will conduct a comprehensive evaluation and draw up a medical plan of action tailored just for you. 

To calm the tremors and rigidity of Parkinson’s disease, Loyola’s team is highly experienced in the deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedure.  This unique and highly effective  treatment delivers electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain that control movement and interrupts the abnormal nerve signals that cause movement disorders. 

We offer a full range of support services from occupational therapy and speech therapy to social workers, who will help with the emotional challenges of these conditions. Loyola’s team will work closely with you to manage symptoms through the latest medications and treatments to improve your quality of life. 

Research and Clinical Trials to Improve Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

As an academic medical center, Loyola Medicine is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new medications and protocols. Loyola’s patients benefit from our research discoveries; read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.