Parkinson's Disease

What Is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) occurs when brain cells that make dopamine, a chemical that coordinates movement, stop working or die. Because PD can cause tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems, it is called a “movement disorder.” But cognitive function, constipation, depression, sleep disturbance and other non-movement symptoms also can be part of Parkinson’s. PD is a lifelong and progressive disease, which means that symptoms slowly worsen over time.


Estimates suggest that Parkinson’s Disease affects nearly 1 million people in the United States 
and more than 6 million people worldwide.

The experience of living with Parkinson's over the course of a lifetime is unique to each person. As symptoms and progression vary from person to person, neither you nor your doctor can predict which symptoms you will get, when you will get them or how severe they will be. Even though broad paths of similarity are observed among individuals with PD as the disease progresses, there is no guarantee you will experience what you see in others.
(The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research)

  

Life with Parkinson's Disease

Listen to Freddie and Colbern Thomas (Father & Son) share their personal experiences of living with and caring for someone with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Colbern is a medical student at LSU Health Shreveport's School of Medicine.

One of the problems is that PD can be underdiagnosed because people don't realize they are experiencing PD symptoms. Diagnosis is key to receiving the best treatment. 

   

Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease to look out for:

► TREMOR - Shaking usually in hands, feet or head

► SLOWNESS OF MOVEMENT

► RIGIDITY - Muscle Cramping and Stiffness

► PROBLEMS WITH WALKING AND BALANCE

► SLEEP DISTURBANCE

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At the Center for Brain Health, we are working diligently to assist individuals, families and local physicians in diagnosing Parkinson's Disease in the early stages.

Contact us today to learn more about the free services we provide. Call The Bridge at (318) 656-4800.

VOLUNTEERS WANTED FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE BRAIN IMAGING STUDY

We are seeking volunteers WITH and WITHOUT Parkinson’s disease age 50-80 years old.

  • The study is about cognition and movement in people with Parkinson’s disease compared to healthy volunteers.
  • The study involves a neuropsychological evaluation and a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
  • You will be scheduled to come in to the testing center to undergo one 4-hour session of neuropsychological testing in which you will answer questionnaires and solve different brain-teaser tasks.

Risks: There are no known physical risks associated with this study.

Benefits: Participants will be contributing to a study which increases our understanding of Parkinson’s disease. Participants may also be given the images from their MRI scan.

Cost: There is no charge to participate in this study.

Contact: If interested please call (318) 656-4800.

Working to improve the lives of people fighting Parkinson's disease until we find a cure.

Support Our Research

Photo of Center of Brain Health team viewing screens of brain for evaluation

In the Center for Brain Health, one of our goals is to identify a brain imaging biomarker of disease severity that is applicable to a diverse sample of people with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Existing studies suggest that there are racial differences in the incidence and progression of PD. 

If you are interested in supporting this research through funding, please contact us at (318) 675-4932 or email SHVparkinsonsmri@lsuhs.edu.