Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder caused by low levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that helps control movement.

Low levels of dopamine result from loss of the dopamine-producing cells of the brain, the exact cause of which is unknown. Many theories have been proposed, but this is currently believed to occur from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 

At the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center, we are experts in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The program is 
one of the
first Comprehensive Care Centers designated by the Parkinson’s Foundation’s prestigious Global Care Network. As part of this network, our clinicians can work with colleagues from other highly regarded institutions to advance patient care and improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease.


Symptoms

The main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are slowness of movement, tremors, stiff muscles and problems with balance or walking. Symptoms differ from person to person. In time, the disease can affect muscles throughout your body, and can lead to symptoms such as trouble swallowing, handwriting changes, and loss of facial expression. There are also what are referred to as non-motor problems, such as sleep difficulties, low blood pressure, confusion or constipation.


Screening & Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and your past health and will do a neurological exam. This exam checks to see how well your nerves are working. There are no lab or blood tests that can diagnose Parkinson's, but at Hartford HealthCare’s Chase Family Movement Disorders Center, we are one of the most active institutions in the Northeast offering a skin biopsy that helps make the diagnosis.Your doctor may also order other tests to check for other possible causes of your symptoms.

DaTscan SPECT is an imaging technology that assesses the brain’s dopamine levels and can detect Parkinson’s disease in the early stages. It can tell the difference between Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor or drug-induced Parkinsonism, a clinical syndrome that can cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms.

Neurodiagnostics


Treating Parkinson’s disease

At this time, there is no cure for Parkinson's disease. Medicines can help control the symptoms, but some people do not require treatment if symptoms are mild. You may be referred to occupational, physical, or speech therapy to help you function better. Other treatment options may include deep brain stimulation, or Botulinum toxin injections. Exercise can greatly improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients. Cycling, dance, boxing and tai chi have been shown to be beneficial.


Parkinson's Disease Videos

New Hope for Patients with Parkinson's, Essential Tremors

Hartford HealthCare recently became the first in Connecticut to offer the latest in Deep Brain Stimulation (DPS) technology. Dr. Patrick Senatus is the medical director of DBS at Hartford HealthCare's Ayer Neuroscience Institute.


Meet our Parkinson’s Disease Specialists:

Michelle Dagostine

4.9

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
Joy Antonelle de Marcaida

4.9

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Vernon, CT 06066
Benjamin Dorfman

4.8

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
More Locations
Winsted, CT 06098
James Duffy

5

Psychiatry

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Mystic, CT 06355
Anna Dzilenski

4.8

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
Paul Fidrych

4.6

Neurology

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute
Norwich, CT 06360
Kellie Ford

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Vernon, CT 06066
Barry Gordon

4.8

Neurology

Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute
Meriden, CT 06451
Christopher Hillery

4.8

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Mystic, CT 06355
Lauren Just

4.9

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410

Movement Center

Conditions We Treat

Chase Family Movement Disorders Center

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