A doctor may be able to diagnose the disease based on symptoms alone, but symptoms can be difficult to access in the elderly. Unfortunately, there is no known cure only a treatment plan to control symptoms. Medicines for Parkinsonâ??s are designed to control symptoms usually by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain. Throughout the day the medications can wear off and symptoms can return. Parkinsonâ??s requires the patient and doctor to work closely with each other to find the right treatment plan that works best. Common medications are Levodopa (L-dopa), Pramipexole (Mirapex), Selegiline (Eldepryl, Deprenyl), Amantadine or anticholinergic medications to reduce early or mild tremors, or Entacapone to help control movement. Other medications include: Memantine for cognitive difficulties, Antidepressants, Gabapentin for pain, Fludrocortisone for autonomic dysfunction, and Armodafinil for sleep disorders.
Researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health have identified a metabolite that seems to be a marker for a more severe form of the disease. After studying nearly 6,000 metabolites in the blood of people with Parkinsonâ??s, they found one, called N8-acetyl spermidine, was associated with a quicker worsening of Parkinsonâ??s symptoms. Patients were followed for 10 years, and those who had a more severe disease had higher levels of the metabolite. Researchers now have to find out if catching the disease early enough can help patients.