April is Parksinson’s Awareness Month, and to commemorate this important occasion, The Kensington Redondo Beach hosted an exceptional webinar event featuring two renowned experts in the field of Parkinson’s disease.
Watch our recent event for an enlightened discussion on “Breakthrough Innovations in Parkinson’s Treatment” with guests:
- Dr. Michele Tagliati, Director of the Movement Disorders Program at Cedars-Sinai
- Dr. Jeff Bronstein, Director of Movement Disorders and Professor of Neurology at UCLA
These esteemed guest speakers shared their insights into the latest advancements and innovative therapies that are shaping the future of Parkinson’s care.
The growing impact of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, one million Americans live with the disease, with around 90,000 new cases being diagnosed every year. It’s estimated by 2030, there will be 1.2 million people in America with Parkinson’s disease.
The personal and financial costs for those living with Parkinson’s can be immeasurable. This also affects family caregivers, costing the economy an estimated $25 billion per year in Social Security payments, medical treatments, and lost income.
There is an urgent need for advancement in treatment and care, with researchers and healthcare professionals working hard to develop new therapies, improving existing treatments, and refinding diagnostic methods to slow the progression of the disease potentially.
Innovations in Parkinson’s Treatment
Luckily, medicinal advancements in Parkinson’s treatment have made significant progress in recent years.
New drugs and therapies help to manage symptoms more effectively, slow the progression of the disease, and improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s.
Let’s look at a few of the more notable emerging treatments and therapies for Parkinson’s disease.
Nourianz—A new drug for “off-time”
Nourianz (istradefylline) is a daily pill that’s used in conjunction with other Parkinson’s medications, such as levodopa, to boost dopamine signaling during “off times.”
During “off time,” patients may experience increased tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement, and other symptoms.
Nourianz helps to reduce the off time when their main treatment wears off to improve overall symptoms.
Levodopa is the most popular Parkinson’s treatment for many years, which helps produce more dopamine in the brain.
It comes in extended-release formulations and delivery methods that include inhaled levodopa.
Adulhelm doesn’t help manage symptoms but directly targets the source of the disease — protein clumps in the brain, to slow down the progression of the disease.
High-intensity sound waves can be used to target and destroy specific brain tissue in the subthalamic nucleus which helps improve tremors and rigidity.
Advances in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) technology
DBS involved surgically implanting electrodes into parts of the brain that control motor function to manage tremors and other disabling motor symptoms.
Advances in DBS technology can include remote adjustments with a doctor through video chat and automatic recording of the brain’s activity for personalized care.
Gene therapy and stem cell therapy
These therapies are among the most advanced and experimental treatments.
Gene therapy involves using genetic sequence technology to modify or replace genes associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Stem cell therapy involves using new stem cells to replace or heal damaged dopamine-producing cells in the brain.
Emerging diagnostic methods
Researchers are working on identifying biomarkers that can be used to diagnose Parkinson’s disease more accurately and predict its onset.
The following are emerging diagnostic methods that show promise in helping to prevent or slow down Parkinson’s disease.
Blood biomarkers in plasma tests
Scientists have found specific proteins and molecular markers that can indicate the early presence of Parkinson’s disease or its progression.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers
Similar to blood testing, fluids in the brain and spinal cord can also give indications to specific proteins and molecular markers to provide more accurate information.
A specific protein, alpha-synuclein, can be found in the skin cells of people with Parkinson’s. These biopsies are a more minimally invasive diagnostic method.
A loss of smell may be an indicator of Parkinson’s disease. Olfactory testing evaluates a person’s ability to smell and detect various odors.
While MRI and PET scans are used in imaging, more advanced imaging such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can reveal changes in the brain’s white matter.
Additionally, neuromelanin-sensitive MRIs can detect a loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain.
Smartwatches, smartphone apps, and wearable technology can collect data on a person’s movement, gait, and balance to help identify early signs of Parkinson’s disease.
One indicator of Parkinson’s disease is the thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer, which can be seen through retinal imaging to provide more data in diagnosis.
Parkinson’s care at The Kensington Redondo Beach
Managing Parkinson’s disease can be a challenging task, especially for older adults and their families.
Moving into an assisted living or memory care community can provide numerous benefits for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, ensuring they receive appropriate care, support, and resources to maintain a high quality of life.
On-site medical support and nursing care
Assisted living and memory care communities have trained staff and specialists who are experienced in providing care for people with Parkinson’s.
These healthcare professionals understand the unique needs of residents with the condition and are better equipped to provide tailored care compared to a caregiver at home who may lack the necessary expertise or training.
Exercise and physical rehabilitation for Parkinson’s disease
Regular physical activities and physical rehabilitation help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Senior living communities, such as assisted living and memory care, typically offer various exercise progression and physical therapy sessions on-site.
At Kensington Redondo Beach, we offer various exercise programs, physical therapy sessions, and a partnership with HealthPRO Heritage, a regional leader in outstanding physical therapies.
Social support groups and friendships can help alleviate feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression often experienced by those with Parkinson’s.
Comprehensive support services
The Kensington Redondo Beach is better equipped to provide Parkinson’s care than your average assisted living community.
We offer a higher continuum of care that includes:
- Licensed nurses on-site 24/7
- Dedicated supervisors in each neighborhood
- Comprehensively trained caregivers and staff
- Psychological and psychiatric services
- Medication management
- Extensive support programs for people in wheelchairs
- On-site physical rehabilitation, occupation therapy, and speech therapy
- Accommodation of special diets, such as diabetes, renal, gluten-free, vegetarian, and more
The Kensington Redondo Beach — your partners in Parkinson’s care
At The Kensington Redondo Beach, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for our residents with Parkinson’s disease.
Our exceptional memory care communities, Haven and Connections, offer comprehensive support, specialized programs, and a loving and warm environment for individuals and their families.
At The Kensington Redondo Beach, we Promise to love and care for your loved one as we do our own.
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To learn more about our floor plans and tailored Parkinson’s care services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team.
We’re here to support you and your loved ones every step of the way.