Personalized Care for Parkinson's Disease
Catholic Health's dedicated team of movement disorder specialists offer comprehensive services for Parkinson's disease from diagnosis to treatment. Their clinical excellence and compassionate care give you the best quality of life with innovative therapies and treatments as well as education and support to help you and your loved ones cope with a life-altering diagnosis.
Our Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at St. Charles Hospital (Port Jefferson, NY) offers specialized care for adults diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. We also offer support to patients at our Parkinson’s Disease Information and Referral Center at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital (Smithtown, NY).
Parkinson's Disease Symptoms, Treatment & Management
There is no single, definitive test to diagnose Parkinson's disease and there is no known cure. The disease develops differently for each patient. Early detection plays a key role in developing a customized treatment plan to move forward with your care. Contact your primary doctor to schedule a neurological and physical exam if you are experiencing two or more primary motor symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that impacts a person's motor function and ability to perform daily activities. It’s a chronic and progressive disease, meaning the symptoms worsen over time.
Most people who develop the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are over the age of 50. Early onset Parkinson's disease is when a person 21-50 years old is diagnosed.
There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease. It's important to schedule an appointment with your primary doctor if you think you are experiencing symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms fall into two categories: motor and non-motor. Observing two or more of the primary motor symptoms is how our physicians diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Not everyone diagnosed has a tremor.
The four primary motor symptoms include:
- Bradykinesia (slow movement)
- Postural instability
- Rigidity (tightness or stiffness of the limbs or torso)
- Depression and anxiety
- Disturbances in the sense of smell
- Dystonia (involuntary and repetitive muscle movements causing the body to twist or assume a particular posture)
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Personality changes
- Sleep problems
- Urinary issues
- Vision issues
- Vocal symptoms
- Walking or gait difficulties
- Weight loss
Parkinson’s disease is distinctive from other movement disorders because cell loss occurs in a very specific region of the brain. The nerve cells, or neurons, produce dopamine that helps regulate movement. Most Parkinson’s disease treatments work to increase the level of dopamine and help you regain movement.
Because Parkinson's disease is a progressive movement disorder, our care team works closely with you to modify your customized disease management plan as needed.
Parkinson's disease symptoms can be managed with:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lifestyle modifications like diet, exercise and sleep
Catholic Health's movement disorders team help you with the physical and emotional challenges of Parkinson's disease.
- Board-Certified Neurologists—provide a thorough clinical evaluation of your medical history, mental health, laboratory testing, pulmonary function testing, urinalysis and more
- Board-Certified Neuropsychologists—perform neuropsychological testing, cognitive assessments and counseling
- Board-Certified Physiatrists—specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation who evaluate your movements
- Certified occupational, physical and speech therapists
- Social workers
The Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at St. Charles Hospital (Port Jefferson, NY) provides personalized treatment for adults diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Your disease management plan includes customized physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to help you overcome physical and verbal challenges that interfere with everyday tasks like holding a conversation, walking, dressing, cooking and using a phone.
As Long Island's leader in rehabilitation services, St. Charles Hospital gives you access to the highest level of rehabilitative care and the latest and most innovative treatments. St. Charles Hospital is also a designated Information and Resource Center by the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Early intervention is critical for Parkinson's disease treatment. Our rehabilitation experts at St. Charles Hospital are committed to discussing, developing and implementing a comprehensive plan that provides you with comfort, convenience and quality of life.
Therapies include the BIG and LSVT LOUD techniques. Patients following BIG techniques perform specific exercises with exaggerated movement patterns, which can be applied to daily activities like reaching for objects, ascending stairs and opening doors. Patients using the principles of LOUD increase the volume of their speech to help improve their breathing, voice box and articulation, all of which are essential for making their speech easily understood by others.
Our physiatrists, who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, evaluate movement and treat gait and balance issues through therapeutic intervention and customized orthotics or braces.
The Sleep Disorders Center at St. Charles Hospital is a full-service sleep disorders center staffed with board-certified specialists who help Parkinson's patients find relief from sleep problems commonly associated with the disease.
St. Charles Hospital's Parkinson's disease patients have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial for FDA-approved Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), also called deep brain stimulation, to improve brain function.
St. Charles Hospital's extensive network of outpatient rehabilitation centers ensures seamless coordination of care and convenient access to high-quality therapeutic services. Our skilled rehabilitation team works with each patient to develop an individualized plan designed to make a positive impact on quality of life.
St. Catherine of Siena Hospital (Smithtown, NY) provides educational and emotional support to our patients with Parkinson's disease and their families. We can also refer you to an exercise program. Our Parkinson’s Disease Information and Referral Center at St. Catherine of Siena Hospital is approved by the American Parkinson Disease Association.
- General support groups for the general population of Parkinson’s disease patients
- Young onset support groups for patients whose Parkinson’s disease started early in life