Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease Specialist
From hand tremors to slowed speech, the signs of Parkinson’s disease are hard to notice at the beginning, but if you have concerns, seek help. At Loudoun Neurology Associates in Lansdowne, Leesburg, Virginia, you can find, Parminder Chawla, MD, diagnoses Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions and helps slow disease progression, reducing its symptoms. If you live in or near Leesburg, Virginia, and are experiencing neurological symptoms, get to the root of the problem now. Call the office to schedule or book your appointment online today.

Parkinson's Disease Q & A

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?

Tremors characterize Parkinson's disease, but it causes a wide range of other symptoms. At the condition’s onset, minor symptoms may go unnoticed. In many cases, they start on one side of the body and include:

  • Slowed movements that progress into an inability to move
  • Rigid and stiff muscles which limit range of motion
  • Posture and balance impairment, including developing a stooped position
  • Loss of automatic movements, like smiling and arm swinging
  • Speech changes that lead to slurred or soft speech

What causes Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease develops when dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain die. With fewer of these cells, levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine decrease and lead to abnormal brain activity.

Although the underlying cause of this cell death is unknown, certain risk factors make you more susceptible to developing Parkinson’s, including:

  • A family history of Parkinson’s disease
  • Exposure to certain toxins, including herbicides and pesticides
  • Being age 60 or older

How is Parkinson’s disease diagnosed?

When you see Dr. Chawla for tremors or gait issues, he completes a thorough evaluation to determine if you may have Parkinson’s disease. There is no test for the condition, but Dr. Chawla’s extensive training allows him to recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease.

To rule out other conditions, he may order imaging tests or blood work. If he believes you have Parkinson’s, Dr. Chawla may prescribe carbidopa-levodopa, a medication indicated explicitly for Parkinson’s. If you see improvement after a sufficient dose, he confirms the diagnosis.

How is Parkinson’s disease treated?

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic condition that has no cure. Dr. Chawla develops a treatment plan that improves your balance and stability while reducing the disease’s debilitating neurological symptoms.

In many cases, this includes lifestyle changes. Aerobic exercises and physical therapy allow you to build strength, balance, and stability and help you keep your range of motion, slowing the progression of mobility issues.

If Parkinson’s disease impacts your speech, Dr. Chawla may recommend speech-language therapy.

He also prescribes medication, typically carbidopa-levodopa, to increase dopamine production. They're often taken orally, but infusions are also available. Dr. Chawla may recommend other medications to help restore brain dopamine levels.

If you’re concerned about tremors or gait problems, find help at Loudoun Neurology Associates. Call to schedule your appointment or book online today.

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