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Ablation:  The surgical removal of body tissue.


Acetylcholine: A brain chemical that acts as both a neurotransmitter and a neuromodulator and plays a role in muscle function, attention, arousal, memory, and motivation. Acetylcholine is reduced in Parkinson's-related dementia.


Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Generally referred to as cholinesterase inhibitor; a chemical that binds to the enzyme, cholinesterase, and prevents it from breaking down the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.


Acupuncture: A form of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West.


Adenosine A2A Antagonists: A class of drugs that blocks adenosine at the adenosine A2A receptor.


Advanced Healthcare Directives: A legal document in which someone explains the actions that should bet taken for their health if they are no longer in a capacity to make their own decisions. In the US, and advance healthcare directive has its own legal status.


Aerobic Exercise: The term aerobic actually means "with oxygen" which means that breathing controls provides cardiovascular conditioning.


Akathisia: A state of agitation, distress, and restlessness that is an occasional side-effect of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs


Akinesia: Lack of movement caused by Parkinson's, such as loss of arm swing, that primarily affects walking or the hands and trunk area. A hallmark motor symptom of Parkinson's


Alpha-synuclein proteins: A protein found in the brain. While the role of alpha-synuclein in a healthy brain is unknown, alpha-synuclein clumps together in the brains of people with Parkinson's to form Lewy bodies, one of the hallmark features of Parkinson's. This has led to ongoing investigation into the role this protein plays in the development of Parkinson's.


Amantadine: A medication originally used to treat the common flu and later found to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's. Amantadine can be used alone or in combination with other Parkinson's medications. It is sometimes added specifically for the treatment of dyskinesia and can also improve freezing of gait. Also has a stimulant effect which can help with fatigue.


Amino Acid Carrier System: Amino acid transporters (AATs) are membrane-bound transport proteins that mediate transfer of amino acids into and out of cells or cellular organelles. AATs have diverse functional roles ranging from neurotransmission to acid-based balance, intracellular energy metabolism, and anabolic and catabolic reactions.


Amino Acids: The building blocks of protein.


Amphetamine salts: Central nervous system stimulants that work to restore imbalance of the brain by increasing mental alertness.


Adenosine Receptor Antagonist: Adenosine antagonists or adenosine receptor antagonists are a new drug class approved to be used as an add-on treatment to levodopa and carbidopa in patients with Parkinson's disease. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that controls and coordinates movements.


Anticholinergic Medication / Anticholinergics: A type of medication that interferes with the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to try and restore the balance between dopamine and acetylcholine.


Antifungals: An antifungal drug or other substance that kills or stops the growth of fungi that cause infections.


Anti-inflammatory Foods: These foods provide plant chemicals, antioxidants, and fiber that prevent cellular stresses, inhibit inflammatory signals caused by the immune system, promote healthy gut microbiota, and slow down digestion to prevent surges in blood glucose.


Antipsychotic Medication / Antipsychotics: A type of drug used to treat symptoms of psychosis to include hallucinations.


Antispasmodic Medication: A medication that relieves, prevents, or lowers the incidence of muscle spasms, especially those of smooth muscle such as in the bowel wall.


Anxiety: Excessive feelings of worry, nervousness, apprehension and unease. Can be associated with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.


Apathy: Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.


Aregentum nitricum: A homeopathic dilution of Argentum Nitricum that relieves apprehension with heartburn. The pellets melt in your mouth and can be taken on the go, no food or water needed.


Aspiration: When food or fluid enters the lungs.


Arteriosclerosis: The thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries, occurring typically in old age.


Ataxia: A loss of muscle control of the ability to coordinate one's voluntary movements, such as walking. Ataxia signals the presence of an underlying condition and can affect various movements, leading to challenges with swallowing, speech, and eye movement.


Atypical Parkinson's: Progressive diseases that present with some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but that generally do not respond well to drug treatment with levadopa. They are associated with abnormal protein buildup within brain cells.


Ayurveda Medicine: The ancient Indian medical system, also known as Ayurveda, is based on ancient writings that rely on a "natural" and holistic approach to physical and mental health.




Balance: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.


Basal Ganglia: Clusters of neurons located deep in the brain tat play an important role in movement. The basal ganglia includes the substantia nigra, and cell death in the substantia nigra contributes to signs of Parkinson's


Benztropine: A class of medication called anticholinergics that work by blocking a certain natural substance (acetylcholine).


Bipolar Disorder: Formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs.


Blepharospasm: Also called benign essential blepharospasm is the blinking or other eyelid movements, like twitching that you can't control.


Blood brain barrier: The membrane separating the blood and the brain; a tight physical barrier that normally keeps immune cells, chemicals and drugs out of the brain.


Boutlinum Toxing Injections: A neurotoxic protein that prevents the release of acetylcholine. Injections may help with dystonia. Commonly referred to as BOTOX.


Bradykinesia: The slowness of movement that can be caused by Parkinson's. One of the hallmark motor symptoms of Parkinson's.




Calcineurin Inhibitors: Immunosuppressants used to manage autoimmune conditions including but not limited to lupus, nephritis, idiopathic inflammatory myositis,, interstitial lung disease, atopic dermatitis, and many more. In addition, they are used as mainstays for immunosuppression in solid organ transplants.


Cannibis: A tall plant with a stiff upright stem, divided serrated leaves, and glandular hairs. It is used to produce hemp and as a drug.


Carbidopa/Levodopa: A drug given with levodopa. Carbidopa blocks the enzyme dopa decarboxylase, thereby preventing levodopa from being metabolized to dopamine. Since carbidopa does not penetrate the blood brain barrier, it only blocks levodopa metabolism in the peripheral tissues and not in the brain, thereby reducing side effects such as nausea while increasing the effectiveness of levodopa.


Carcolepsy: The instant feeling of falling asleep as soon as the car starts moving.


Care Partner: Anyone who provides help or support to a relative or friend living with Parkinson's.


Catechol-Methyl Transferase (COMT): One of several enzymes that degrade catecholamines catescholestrogens, and various drug substances.


Causticum: A potassium hydrate is a remedy used in homeopathy for a broad spectrum of conditions. It is available in several forms, including tablets, liquid and cream.


Cell Transplantation: A procedure in which a patient receives healthy stem cells (blood-forming cells) to replace their own stem cells that have been destroyed by treatment.


Central Pain: A neurological condition caused by damage or dysfunction of the central nervous system, which includes the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord. This syndrome can be caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors, epilepsy, brain, or spinal cord trauma, or Parkinson's disease.


Cervical Dystonia: Also called spasmodic torticollis, is a painful condition in which your neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing your head to twist or turn to one side.


Cholinesterase Inhibitors: Function to decrease the breakdown of acetylcholine.


Ciprofloxacin: Used to treat or prevent certain infections caused by bacteria such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections.


Clozapine: A psychiatric medication is the first atypical antipsychotic primarily used to treat people with schizophrenia.


Cognition: Mental processes including attention, remembering, producing, and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A type of treatment for anxiety and depression addressing behaviors and thought patterns. CBT is time-limited and skills-based and may be used alone or in combination with medication.


Cognitive Function Evaluation: Process that yields a comprehensive profile of the clients' cognitive strengths and weaknesses in occupational performance.


COMT-Inhibitors: A type of medication that prevents the COMT enzyme from converting levodopa into a form unable to be used by the brain. When levodopa is taken, a portion of the COMT enzyme converts into a useless compound. COMT inhibitors prevent this, thus making more levodopa available for the brain to use to counteract symptoms of Parkinson's.


Constipation: Infrequent or hard to pass bowel movements. A common problem for people living with Parkinson's that can be helped by increasing water intake and fiber in the diet.


Corticobasal Syndrome: A rare condition that can cause gradually worsening problems with movement, speech, memory and swallowing caused by increasing numbers of brain cells becoming damaged or dying over time.




DaTscan: A nuclear medicine scan that measures levels of dopamine nerve cells in the basal ganglia. While this scan cannot determine if someone has Parkinson's or not, it was approved by the FDA in 2011 to help differentiate Parkinson's tremor from Familial or Essential Tremor (ET). It is also not able to distinguish Parkinson's from other forms of parkinsonism, nor is it used to track symptoms or progression.


Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): A surgical procedure involving the implantation of electrodes in specific areas of the brain that produce electrical impulses to help regulate abnormal impulses or affect certain chemicals or cells in the brain. DBS is used to help a variety of neurological conditions, most commonly the motor symptoms of Parkinson's, including tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, walking problems.


Delirium: A disturbed state of mind or consciousness, especially an acute, transient condition associated with fever, intoxication, and certain other physical disorders, characterized by symptoms such as confusion, disorientation, agitation and hallucinations.


Delusions: A false belief or judgement about external reality, held despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, occurring especially in mental conditions.


Dementia: A decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Areas particularly affected include memory, attention, judgment, language, planning and problem solving.


Dementia with Lewy Bodies: A disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy Bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, movement, behavior and mood.


Depression: A mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can affect feelings, behavior, and thinking, leading to various physical and emotional problems.


Dextromethorphan: Used to temporarily relieve cough caused by the common cold and flu or other conditions.


Divalproex Sodium (Depakote): This medicine is an anticonvulsant that works in the brain tissue to stop seizures, and it is also used to treat the manic phase of bipolar disorder and preventing migraine headaches.


Dopamine: A small chemical molecule that is one of the brain's neurotransmitters. It is found especially in cells within the substantia nigra and conveys messages in the brain to coordinate muscle movements. The motor symptoms of Parkinson's appear when 60-80% of the dopamine-producing neurons in the brain are damaged and unable to produce sufficient dopamine.


Dopamine Agonists: A type of medication that acts like dopamine but is not actually dopamine. These compounds activate dopamine receptors and can be used in both the early and later stages of Parkinson's. Dopamine agonists can cause side effects such as confusion, sleepiness, sleep attacks, ankle swelling, hallucinations, and impulse control problems, like uncontrollable gambling, eating, obsessive behaviors, and sexual urges.


Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome: An uncommon complication of the treatment of Parkinson's disease, characterized by addictive behavior and excessive use of dopamine medication. Patients may develop prominent dyskinesias, cyclothymia, psychosis, and significant functional decline.


Dopaminergic Medications: Aim to replace dopamine or prevent the degradation of dopamine. Antiparkinsonian drugs that aim to replace dopamine in the central nervous system either release dopamine or mimic the action of dopamine.


Dyskinesia: Uncontrollable, jerky, irregular and involuntary movements.


Dysphagia: Diffculty Swallowing


Dystonia: Involuntary tightening of spasms of the muscles, often in the feet or lower legs, caused by a lack of dopamine.


Dystonic Pain: Disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The movements may be painful, and some individuals with dystonia may have a tremor or other neurological symptoms.



Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): A procedure done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain to electrically induce and manage refractory mental disorders.


Electrodes: A conductor used in deep brain stimulation through which electricity enters or leaves an object, substance or region of the brain.


Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs): Obtained from early-stage embryos, a group of cells that forms when eggs are fertilized with sperm at an in vitro fertilization clinic. Pluripotent stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of blastocyst, an early-stage pre-implantation embryo.


Endorphins; Any group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiologic functions. They are peptides which activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect.


Enteral Suspension Medication Delivery: The enteral routes of administration are those in which the drug is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.


epidemiological: Relating to the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of diseases.


Equilibrium: A calm state of mind. A state of balance between opposing forces or actions that is either static or dynamic.


Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS): Inability to maintain wakefulness or alertness during the major waking episodes of the day. Distinguished from fatigue, which refers to a subjective lack of physical or mental energy.


Excessive Salivation: Also called hypersalivation or ptyalism which is the excessive production of saliva.


Executive Function: Cognitive processes that allow one to plan, focus attention, remember and multitask.


Feldenkrais Method: A system designed to promote bodily and mental well-being by conscious analysis of neuromuscular activity via exercises that improve flexibility and coordination and increase ease and range of motion.

Fiberoptic Endoscopic Exam for Swalloing: A procedure used to assess how well you swallow.

Focused Ultrasound Therapy (FUS): A rapidly evolving, noninvasive therapeutic technology with the potential to transform the treatment of many medical disorders, including Parkinson's.

Freezing: Problems with initiating movements that often result in feeling like one's feet are glued to the floor. A motor symptom that is more common in later stages of Parkinson's.


Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Symptoms related to the gut, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea resulting from food posioning, lactose intolerance, infection, or medication interactions.

Gene Therapy: The transplantation of normal genes into cells in place of missing or defective ones in order to correct genetic disorders.

Geste antagoniste: A voluntary maneuver that temporarily reduces the severity of dystonic postures or movements. It is a classic feature of cervical and focal dystonia, but may also be seen in more generalized dystonia.

Globus Palliudus (GPI): The media part of the lentiform nucleus in the brain.

Glutamate Antagonists: An amino acid and the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the human brain. Glutamate plays a critical role in the development of the brain and helps with learning and memory. Excess glutamate in the brain is associated with neurological diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis (MS), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Glutathione Therapy: A substance made from the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. It is produced by the liver and involved in many body processes. IV Therapy delivers the powerful antioxidant directly to your blood stream.

Granisetron: A serotonin receptor antagonist used as an antiemetic to treat nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It's main effect is to reduce the activity of the vagus nerve, which is a nerve that activates the vomiting center in the medulla oblongata.

Guided Imagery: The use of words and music to evoke positive imaginary scenarios in a subject with a view to bringing about some beneficial effect.


Hallucinations: The experience of perceiving something that is not actually there. Hallucinations may be a symptom of Parkinson's or a side effect of certain Parkinson's medications.

Healthcare Proxy: A document that names someone you trust as your proxy, or agent, to express your wishes and make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

Homeopathy: The treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease.

Hospice Care: A special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness.

Hyoscyamine: Used to control symptoms associated with disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Hyper-hedonistic Behaviors: A mental health condition marked by unstable emotions, distorted self-images and overwhelming feelings.

Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating that's not always related to heat or exercise.


Illusions: A thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses. A false idea or beleif.

Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG): A battery-powered, micro-electronic device, implanted in the body, which delivers electrical stimulation to the nervous system.

Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs): A set of psychiatric disorders characterized by an inability to control one's actions, particularly activities that could bring harm to oneself or others. This can be a side effect of certain Parkinson's medications. People taking dopamine agonists may experience ICDs, including compulsive gambling, eating, shopping, and hypersexuality.

Incontinence: Lack of voluntary control over urination or defecation.

Induced Pluripotent Sent Cells (IPSCs): Derived from skin or blood cells that have been reprogrammed back into an embryonic-like pluripotent state that enables the development of an unlimited source of any type of human cell needed for therapeutic purposes.

Infusion Therapy: When medication or fluids re administered through a needle or catheter.

Insomnia: A common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early.


Lesion Therapy: An area of abnormal tissue that may be treated

Lewy Body Dementia: A pathologic hallmark of Parkinson's and dementia with Lewy bodies. Named for Frederic Lewy who first described them. Lewy bodies are seen microscopically as inclusions in neurons in several brain regions, including the substantial nigra.

LRRK2: A gene that provides instructions for making a protein called dardarin.

Lubiprostone: Medication used to relieve stomach pain, bloating, and straining and produce softer and more frequent bowel movements.


Manic Depression: A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

MAO-B Inhibitors: A family of enzymes with two subtypes: MAO-A and MAO-B. These catalyze the oxidation of amine molecules, replacing the amine group with an oxygen molecule. MAO-B inhibitors are a type of drugs (such as selegiline, rasagiline) that inhibit the breakdown of dopamine via MAO-B enzyme and do not cause abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension).

Melatonin: A hormone secreted by the pineal gland which inhibits melanin formation and is thought to be concerned with regulating the reproductive cycle.

Meperidine: A synthetic compound used as a pain killing drug.

Mercurius Vivus: Homeopathic remedy made from elemental mercury.

Metabolized: The process in which the body metabolizes chemicals in the body.

Methadone: A synthetic analgesic drug that is similar to morphine in its effects but longer acting, used as a substitute drug in the treatment of morphine and heroin addiction.

Methylphenidate: A class of medications called central nervous system stimulants.

Micrographia: Small, cramped handwriting that can be a symptom of Parkinson's.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): The stage between the expected decline in memory and thinking that happens with age and the more serious decline of dementia. Includes memory, language, and judgement problems.

Mindfulness: The quality of state of being conscious or aware of something.

Modafinil: Class of medications called wakefulness promoting agents.

Modified Barium Swallow Study: A radiology procedure that can show the passage of food or fluids from the mouth to the stomach.

Monoamine Oxidase Type B (MAO-B): A group of antidepressant drugs that inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase.

Movement Disorder Specialist: A neurologist with additional training in movement disorders like Parkinson's, essential tremor, and ataxia.

Multiple System Atrophy: A progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms that affect bot the autonomic nervous system and movement.

Musculoskeletal Pain: Acute or chronic pain that affects bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves associated with musculoskeletal disorders.


Neurodegenerative: Occurs when nerve cells in the brain or peripheral nervous system lose function over time and ultimately die.

Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (nOH): A type of orthostatic hypotension caused by a neurological disorder like Parkinson's or multiple system atrophy that triggers a sustained drop in blood pressure upon standing. Common symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, blurry vision, and occasional fainting.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS): A life-threatening, neurological disorder most often caused by adverse reaction to neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs. Symptoms include high fever, sweating, unstable blood pressure, stupor, muscular rigidity, and autonomic dysfunction.

Neurologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of disorders of the brain or nervous system.

Neuro-ophthalmologist's: A neurologist or ophthalmologist in the field of neuro-opthalmology. These specialists have a particular appreciation for the intersection of the eyes and the brain and perform comprehensive testing to determine the cause of visual or eye movement problems.

Neuroprotective Therapies: Mechanisms within the nervous system that protect neurons from dying as a result of a degenerative disease like Parkinson's or from other types of injury.

Neuropsychiatric disease: A blanket medical term that encompasses a broad range of medical conditions that involve both neurology and psychiatry.

Neuropsychologist: A psychologist specializing in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behavior.

Neurorestorative: The ability to restore brain function.

Neurostimulator: A device that delivers electrical impulses through tiny wires placed in regions of the brain affected by Parkinson's.

Neurotransmitters: A chemical messenger in the nervous system that facilitates communication between two neuronal cells, normally across a synapse. The neurotransmitter is released from the nerve terminals on the axons. Examples of neurotransmitters include dopamine, acetylcholine, adrenaline, noradrenaline, serotonin, glutamate, and GABA.

Non-motor Fluctuations: Parkinson's symptoms that are not related to movement, such as mood, cognition, or fatigue. Mood fluctuations are particularly common and are often experienced as a general state of dissatisfaction with life, irritability, depression or anxiety.

Non-rapid Eye Movement (NREM): The phase of sleep that is considered the quiet or restful phase.

Norepinephrine: Another term for noradrenaline.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): A personality disorder characterized by excessive orderliness, perfectionism, attention to details, and a need for control in relating to others.

Occupational Therapist: A specialist concerned with assessing a person's home or work situation to determine ways to make life more manageable. Occupational therapists can also advise on aids and adaptive equipment that may make everyday life easier.

Off Times: The clinical states of Parkinson's while being treated with carbidopa/levodopa, which can often fluctuate after a few years of treatment. The ON state is when carbidopa/levodopa reduces Parkinson's symptoms. The OFF state is when the benefit has been reduced or lost. The most common type of OFF is referred to as "wearing OFF," and happens because of carbidopa/levodopa not lasting more than four hours after a dose.  Sudden and unpredictable OFF states can also occur but are less common. OFF states usually will respond to another dose of carbidopa/levodopa.

Ondansetron: A drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy or after surgery.

Ophthalmologist; A specialist in the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of disorders and diseases of they eye.

Optometrist: A person who practices optometry.

Orthostatic Hypertension: A sustained drop in blood pressure that occurs after standing. OH can happen for a variety of reasons. When OH is caused by a nervous system disorder, like Parkinson's or multiple system atrophy (MSA), it is called neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) Symptoms which can include lightheadedness, dizziness, or feeling as though one is about to black out.


Palliative Care: An approach to care of chronic illness that is holistic and team-based, shifting the focus from an individual patient to the patient together with their family. Palliative care places a strong emphasis on enhancing quality of life and integrating psychological and spiritual aspects. Hospice is a subset of palliative care, administered in the US in the last six months of life.

Pallidotomy: Neurosurgical procedure used to treat Parkinson's disease and some other conditions, often as an alternative to deep brain stimulation. It involves placing a tiny electrical probe in the globus pallidus, one of the basal ganglia of the brain to damage it.

PARK2 (Parkin Gene): Gene that encodes Parkin, a component of a multi-protein E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets substrate proteins.

Parkinsonism's: A general term for group of neurological conditions displaying movement changes often seen in Parkinson's such as slowness of movement, rest tremors, muscle stiffness, and impaired speech. Not everyone who has parkinsonism has Parkinson's.

Parkinson's Disease: A progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and low, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Parkinson's Disease Psychosis: A non-motor symptom of Parkinson's disease that causes patients to experience hallucinations and/or delusions. More than half of all patients with Parkinson's disease eventually develop symptoms over the course of their disease.

Parkinson's Plus: A group of neurodegenerative diseases displaying the classic motor symptoms of Parkinson's (such as slowness of movement, rest tremors, and muscle stiffness,) but with additional features that distinguish them from typical Parkinson's. Parkinson-plus syndromes include multiple system atrophy )MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), and cortico basal degeneration (CBD).

Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS): A sleep disorder involving repetitive movements, typically in the legs and feet that occur about every 20-40 seconds and cluster into episodes lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. These movements can be brief muscle twitches, jerking movements, or an upward flexing of the feet. PLMD often occurs in tandem with restless legs syndrome, which nearly three-quarters of people with RLS also experience.

PET Scan: An image made using positron emission tomography, especially one of the brain.

Physical Therapist: A specialist who uses physical means such as exercise and manipulation to help prevent or reduce stiffness in joints and restore muscle strength. Physical therapists can also advise on aids and equipment to help with movement problems.

Physiologist: An expert in or student of the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.

Pimavanserin: Used to treat hallucinations and delusions in people with psychosis from Parkinson's Disease.

Placebo Effect: A stimulated or inert form of treatment without known proven benefit on a symptom or disease. A pill serving as a placebo is often called a "sugar pill." When placebos provide benefit, this phenomenon is called a "placebo effect." Placebos are employed in controlled clinical trials along with the active drug being tested. The difference in responses between the two drugs is considered the true effect of the active drug.

Plumbum Metallicum: A homeopathic remedy prepared from lead, a heavy, bluish-gray, soft malleable metal.

Postural Instability: General balance issues that result from how Parkinson's delays reflexes related to posture. Although this typically shows up as problems with balance, there can be many different causes for balance challenges in Parkinson's.

Power of Attorney: The authority to act for another person in specified or all legal or financial matters.

Prodromal: Relating to or denoting the period between the appearance of initial symptoms and full development.

Progressive Suprenuclear Palsy: A rare brain disorder that causes problems with movement, walking, and balance, and eye movement. It results to damage to nerve cells in the brain that control thinking and body movement.

Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA): A condition that's characterized by episodes of sudden uncontrollable and inappropriate laughing or crying.

Punding: Compulsive performance of repetitive, mechanical tasks, such as assembling and disassembling, collecting or sorting household objects.

Psychotherapy: The treatment of mental conditions by verbal communication and interaction.




Quetiapine: Used as part of a treatment program to treat bipolar disorder.




Reiki: A healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.


REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD): A sleep disorder that involves movement and abnormal behavior during the sleep phase with rapid eye movements, the stage of sleep in which dreaming occurs. IN normal sleep, muscles are paralyzed during dreaming except for eye movements. In individuals with RBD, the muscles are not paralyzed, so the dreamer is free to physically act out his or her dreams. RBD is common in people with Parkinson's and may precede the onset of motor symptoms.


Respite: A short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.


Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): A neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs, like feeling of ants crawling underneath the skin. These sensations usually occur in the late evening during sleep. Walking around relieves the sensation, hence the term "restless legs." RLS interferes with sleep and is common in people with Parkinson's.


Rhythmic Auditory Cueing: Process whereby movement is synchronized to sound to guide movement through temporal structure to which movement can be aligned, and cues are usually rhymical.


Rigidity: A special type of muscle stiffness, which is one of the hallmark motor symptoms of Parkinson's. The muscles tend to pull against each other instead of working smoothly together.


Scapular Retraction: Exercises that require you to pull the shoulder blades together toward the spine.

Seborrheic Dermatitis (SD): Flaky, white or yellowish skin forming on oily areas of the scalp, forehead or ear. Can be an early, non-motor symptom of Parkinson's.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): A class of antidepressant medications that increases serotonin levels in the brain and can be used to treat depression and anxiety.

Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being.

Serotonin Antagonists: A durg used to inhibit the action of serotonin receptors.

Serotonin Syndrome: A serious drug reaction caused by medications that build up high levels of serotonin in the body.

Serotonin-norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): A class of antidepressant medications that increase the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine and are used to treat depression and other mood disorders.

Sialorrhea: Excessive Drooling

Sleep Apnea: A sleep disorder in which one's breathing stops and starts during the night. While sleep apnea is not more prevalent in people living with Parkinson's, it does occur more frequently as adults age.

Sleep Behavior Disorder: The inability to sleep normally.

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI): Provides government income for those qualifying under disability with limited income and resources.

Somatosensory Nervous System: The part of the sensory system concerned with the conscious perception of touch, pressure, pain and temperature.

Spasmodic Torticollis: Painful condition in which neck muscles contract involuntarily causing your head to twist or turn to one side. Also known as cervical dystonia.

Speech Language Pathologist: A specialist trained to treat problems associated with speech and swallowing. Speech-language pathologists can also advise on communication aids.

Speech Therapist: Assesses, diagnoses, and treats speech disorders and communication problems.

Stem Cells / Stem Cell Therapy: Special cells with the potential to develop into several different cell types in the body. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to remain either a stem cell or become another, more specialized type of cell, such as a brain cell or red blood cell. Stem cells are currently being researched as a potential disease modifying treatment for Parkinson's.

Substantia Nigra: An area located in the midbrain that looks like a dark streak in brain tissue, hence the Latin name meaning "black substance." The substantia nigra influences movement and coordination and is additionally thought to also play a role in other functions and behaviors, such as learning, drug addiction, and emotions. A large amount of the dopamine cells that die in the brain because of Parkinson's are located in substantia nigra.

Substantia Nigra Pars Compact (SNc): The source of the important nigrostriatal dopamine pathway and appears to modualte the loop, althought not being in the loop itself.

Subthalamic Nucleus (STN): A small, lens-shaped area of the brain (specifically located in the basal ganglia) involved in movement control. The STN is "overactive" in people living with Parkinson's and is a common target in deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's.

Subthalamotomy: A type of brain surgery in which the subthalamic nucleus is destroyed in attempt to help alleviate movement disorders often associated with Parkinson's disease.

Symmetrel: A prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of Influenza A and Parkinson's Disease.


Tai Chi: A Chinese martial art and system of calisthenics consisting of sequences of very slow controlled movements.

Thalamotomy: A surgical operation involving electrocoagulation of areas of the thalamus to interrupt pathways of nervous transmission.

Thoracic Spine:  The middle section of yoru spine that starts at the base of your neck and ends at the bottom of your ribs.

Topical Corticosteroids: Medicines that are applied directly to the skin to reduce inflammation and irritation.

Topical Ketoconazole Shampoo: An azole antifungal that works by preventing the growth of fungus in the hairline.

Tramadol: Used to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): A noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.

Tremor: Involuntary shaking, trembling, or quivering movements of the muscles. In Parkinson's, tremor is usually a resting tremor, which lessens with movemetn and is aggravated by stress. It can occur in any part of the body, althought it often begins in one hand or arm. Although tremor is one of the hallmark motor symptoms of parkinson's, not everyone with Parkinson's will experience tremor.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs): Class of medications that are used primarily as antidepressants, which is important for the management of depression.

Trihexyphenidyl: An antispasmodic drug used to treat stiffness, tremors, spasms and poor muscle control.

Trimethobenzamide: Used to treat nausea and vomiting tha tmay occur after surgery.

Tryptophan: An amino acid which is a constiuent of most proteins. It is an essential nutrient in the diet of vertebrates.


Vascular Parkinsonism: A condition which presents with the clinical features of parkinsonism that are presumably caused by cerebrovascular disease. It is classically described as symmetrical lower-body parkinsonism with gait unsteadiness and absence of tremors and is usually associated with pyramidal signs.

Ventral Intermediate Nucleus VIM: An effective target for deep brain stimulation to control symptoms related to essential tremor.

Video Fluoroscopic Swallow Study: An exam that looks at your ability to swallow safety and effectively using fluoroscopy to help identify the thicknesses and textures of liquid and food that you can most safely eat.

Visuospatial Processing: The ability to tell where objects are in space, including your own body parts. It also involves being able to tell how far objects are from you and from each other.


Xerostomia: Lack of saliva or dry mouth.


Young Onset PD: A diagnosis of Parkinson's under the age of 50.


Zincum Metallicum: A homeopathic dilution of Zincum Metallicum that relieves leg cramps.



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