The pharmacological therapy for treating Parkinson’s disease consists of a twofold approach: on the one hand administering L-DOPA to replenish deficient levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain and, on the other, administering dopamine agonists to support existing dopamine activity.
Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s symptoms are tested in accordance with a standard protocol that evaluates their response to both L-DOPA and dopamine agonists. A positive test result (i.e., the symptoms respond positively to L-DOPA and/or apomorphine) supports the Parkinson’s diagnosis.
In positive cases, the test result is used to establish the dose of medication needed for an optimal pharmacological therapy.
Strokes, cerebral hemorrhages, brain and spinal cord injuries, and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis may all lead to painful cramps (excessive muscle tone, or spasticity) in paralyzed muscles – due to “out-of-control” mechanisms in the central nervous system.
To determine a suitable antispastic therapy program, it is first necessary to identify the exact muscles affected, as well as the precise factors causing the spasticity.
Many neurological and neuro-orthopedic disorders are primarily or secondarily accompanied by pain of varying intensity and quality.
To establish a suitable pain therapy program, all of the following must first be determined: the exact source of pain (nerves or soft tissue), its precise localization and distribution at different times of the day, and the factors responsible for triggering pain.
Thus, a standardized, stepwise testing plan is followed to test the patient’s response to various physical stimuli, electrical treatment modalities and antispastic medications. In turn, the test results are used to establish the individualized therapy program.