Dyskinesia is the involuntary movements of the muscles ranging from mild tremors to severe uncontrollable body movements. These movements can differ in time of the day it occurs to frequency, disrupting normal activities of the day. Dyskinesia is usually the cause of the side effects of the medication for treating Parkinson’s disease, but can also occur in other conditions such as movement disorders.
Treatment options for dyskinesia differ from person to person. Moreover, the specific treatment plan also depends on the type of dyskinesia one is experiencing and the severity of the symptoms. Some of the factors that determine the treatment include:
- Age of the patient
- The severity of the signs of the condition
- Length of time on the medication
- Length of time since the patient has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
- The timing of the symptoms; for instance, are the signs worse when the medication is wearing off
Treatments for treating dyskinesia-related to parkinson’s disease may include a combination of the following:
1. Changing the medication dose
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease start to occur when there is not enough dopamine present. Dopamine is a chemical present in the brain that helps in the smooth movement of the limbs. The medication used for treating Parkinson’s disease, known as levodopa, raises the levels of dopamine in the brain, preventing the jerking and stiffness in the body. When the patient is given the dose of the medication, the dopamine levels go up, whereas when the medication wears off, these levels drop again. These changes in the dopamine levels may be one of the reasons that cause dyskinesia. One of the ways of preventing the condition is to change the medication dose. However, the right lower level of the medication to avoid the side effect might get difficult but the doctor can help in finding the right dose depending on the symptoms and other factors. Another option is to opt for an extended-release form of the medication, wherein the medicine releases slowly in the blood, keeping steady dopamine levels.
2. Deep brain stimulation
Deep brain stimulation has been showing effective results as a treatment for advanced Parkinson’s disease and reduction in dyskinesia symptoms. During the surgery of deep brain stimulation, a small device is placed inside the brain, that sends electrical signals to different parts of the brain that control the motor skills. The device also blocks any abnormal nerve impulses that cause dyskinesia. Going through deep brain stimulation may also mean that the patient need not take the medication, which would eventually ease the dyskinesia symptoms.
3. Stress management techniques
Stress may make dyskinesia worse. So, practicing stress management techniques can help in relaxing the mind and body. Some of the ways of relieving stress include practicing yoga and meditation. In some cases, massage can also be a great option for releasing stress. Talking to a close friend or family, or even reading a book can sometimes help in managing stress. For some people, exercising such as walking, swimming or jogging may also be helpful in easing the dyskinesia symptoms. It is highly recommended to take doctor’s consultation for adding any routine exercises or dietary measures to the daily life to avoid any unforeseen condition.