Most people with Parkinson’s have tremors but some do not-- and most people with tremor do not have Parkinson’s! (See our related section on tremor.) The diagnosis of Parkinson’s rests on having two or more of these signs: slow movements, rigidity, balance problems, and tremor at rest. There can be other symptoms and signs, such as a change in facial expression, voice or handwriting. Parkinson’s disease tends to present slowly, with the most common age of diagnosis around age 60. With proper medical management of symptoms, most people Parkinson’s can remain productive and active for many years.
People with Parkinson’s may have problems with balance, coordination (such as buttoning buttons), and digestion. They may have excess sweating or blood pressure fluctuations. They may have changes in vision, nightmares or hallucinations and some people develop memory problems or depression. Because each of these problems may have other causes, Dr. Kavanagh works closely with the patient and his or her primary doctor to determine the cause and offer the best treatment for these non-motor symptoms.
First, the diagnosis must be confirmed: by repeat examination, by blood tests and brain imaging to rule out other causes. Dr. Kavanagh’s approach is that every patient’s therapy must be individualized. There are three components:
When surgery is an option, Dr. Kavanagh provides education, counseling, and coordination with the surgical team. People with Parkinson’s may have fairly long periods of stable health, but when there is a change the patient needs to be seen promptly. Dr. Kavanagh is accessible to patients when they need more frequent visits to adjust a medication or address a new symptom.
We accept most major medical insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office and ask for Jody if you do not see your insurance provider listed.