As we all prepare for the Unity Walk and for other walks and races that will raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease across the globe, it is important that we keep in mind the simple tips and secrets that can improve the lives of sufferers. One secret that is kept a little bit too tightly by Parkinson’s disease experts, is that the Parkinson medication interval (timing) is as important as the dose. Here are some practical tips that can improve the number of hours of good quality functioning in each day for a Parkinson’s patient:
- If the medication is wearing off before the next dose, consider moving dosages closer together.
- It is not uncommon for some Parkinson’s disease patients to require medications even as close as every 2-3 hours.
- If you experience dyskinesia (extra movements usually an hour or more after a medication dose) you may need to decrease the dose, and move the medication intervals closer together.
- Medication timing usually changes as Parkinson’s disease progresses.
- Remember in Parkinson’s disease timing is everything!
- Sometimes before a big race or athletic event Parkinson’s patients will take an extra dose of medication.
I write several blogs for Parkinson’s disease patients to learn and exchange the secrets that can help them to live a happier life - Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets Blog and National Parkinson Foundation What’s Hot in PD Monthly column.
The most humbling experience of my life has been the time I have spent with families, and with patients suffering from Parkinson’s and chronic neurological diseases. I use the word humbling, because time after time, in person, and also on the web forum, we have uncovered simple and addressable issues and secrets that have changed people’s lives. For some sufferers it has meant walking again, for others it has restored their voices, and for many it has resulted in the lifting of a depression, anxiety and desperation cloud that has obscured their dreams, and robbed them of potential unrealized happiness. I never assume a sufferer or family member is aware of the “secrets” that may lead to hope and to a happier life. We must share these secrets, and this is the purpose of this website.
My newest book, Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life was published on April 1, 2013 for Parkinson’s Awareness month. We will provide translations of the book and its secrets into over 20 languages, so that we can help people from all worldwide cultures and languages. In each chapter of this new book I will reveal an important secret, and will explain the insight, the rationale, the empiricism, and the science behind it. Additionally, in each chapter I will try to reveal a little more about myself, and a lot more about the patients and talented clinicians who gifted the secrets.
These patients planted the seed of faith. They learned to grow hope, and they discovered the core values necessary to achieve happiness despite chronic disease.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
National Medical Director, National Parkinson Foundation