Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease of the nervous system affecting over 1 million Americans which causes the premature loss of dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain. The resulting dopamine deficiency gives rise to the characteristic symptoms of tremor, slowness, stiffness and imbalance which comprise the syndrome of parkinsonism.
Although there is no cure for this disease, the symptoms usually improve with treatment. All the currently available medications have the potential to dramatically improve symptoms by, directly or indirectly, increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. However, these medicines must be prescribed with care due to potential side effects and the wide variation in the dose is required by individual patients. There are also surgical treatments available for certain patients with Parkinson’s disease.
At the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center of Albany Medical Center we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders such as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and drug-induced parkinsonism.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an advanced functional neurosurgical procedure that has transformed the care of patients with advanced PD. Our DBS program is comprised of neurologists and neurosurgeons with world class training and experience in the application of this important treatment. This team employs a multidisciplinary approach to patient selection, pre-operative preparation, operative and post operative management to help ensure the best possible patient outcomes.
We have evaluated over 3000 patients with parkinsonism and currently follow over 500 Parkinson’s disease patients on a regular basis. We have been involved in several investigational drug trials over the past 20 years which have included medications for patients with both early and advanced disease as well as potential neuroprotective treatments. As a result, our patients have had access to the most advanced treatments for their condition, in many cases, years before they have been available to the general public. Our center is an active investigative site for the Parkinson Study Group (PSG). This is a consortium of the most prestigious academic programs in North America designed to evaluate new treatments for Parkinson’s disease independent of the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.