We talked a bit about the medications for Parkinson’s disease and how effective they are. Patients often say to me “Will these tablets last forever?”, and the answer is “No, not at their current level”.

The fact is that it’s not the tablets fault, but as the disease progresses the brain gets more and more cell loss, and that makes it harder for those tablets to work. Patients entering that stage where the tablets can’t control their symptoms consistently through the day will need to consider the advanced therapies for Parkinson’s.

All of these advanced therapies have been tested and have been shown to be effective. These range from things like surgery on the brain – deep brain stimulation, through to pump therapies such as a Levodopa-Carbidopa gel, called Duodoper, which is a tube that goes into the stomach and then to the small bowel. And and also Apomorphine which is a liquid dopamine agonist that gets injected under the skin, and again can be pumped in through the day. All of these therapies can smooth out the dopamine stimulation in the brain and improve quality of life.