Parkinsonsecrets.com and Parkinsonbreakthrough.com blogs are the Official Website for the books:  Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life and 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease.

Dr. Okun is the co-founder of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, the National Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation, as well as the author of several books including Ask the Expert about Parkinson's Disease, Lessons from the Bedside, 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier life due out in 2013.  His secrets book was translated into 20 languages so that it can be made available to Parkinson's disease sufferers around the world.  Dr. Okun has been recently been honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Okun has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and people travel from around the world to seek his opinion on best treatment approaches for this disease.

Parkinson's Dyskinesia: You May Not Have to Live With Those Extra Movements

What is a Parkinson's disease dyskinesia(s)?

  • Dyskinesias are abnormal, involuntary movements that occur in response to dopamine-replacement therapy
  • They can occur with levodopa or agonists
  • The movements have been described as “choreiform”
  • Chorea is a word that is derived from the Greek word meaning “to dance”, so the dyskinesias look similar to dance type movements
  • It can over time with Parkinson's disease become increasingly difficult to find a dose of levodopa that provides symptom relief while avoiding dyskinesia

Parkinson'sTreatment Tips for Dyskinesia

  • Go to a Parkinson’s specialist and keep in mind that it may take multiple visits to resolve the issue
  • Dyskinesia is usually worsened by increasings the dose of levodopa (sinemet) and/or agonist
  • Reducing the dose, and possibly taking smaller doses more frequent doses may help 
  • Entacapone (Comtan) (which is a component of a medicine called Stalevo) can make dyskinesia worse in some cases
  • In severe cases, holding a dose or two of sinemet can help to temporarily relieve dyskinesia, but check with your doc as it can also worsen Parkinson symptoms
  • Stopping sinemet for a day or two can be dangerous so always consult your doctor for prolonged drug holidays
  • Total drug holidays (stopping all medicines) are no longer recommended by Parkinson experts
  • Sometimes eliminating dopamine agonists, MAO-B drugs, Comtan (or Stalevo) can be helpful if all other medicine trials have failed to relieve dyskinesia
  • Using more frequent but lower dosages of sinemet that will allow the patient to feel “on” is a possible treatment
  • Liquid sinemet is an option, although for most patients this is not a long-term viable strategy (crushing 10 sinemet tablets and placing in 1 liter of ginger ale with a crushed vitamin C tablet)
  • Amantadine can be added to suppress dyskinesia– and is helpful for some sufferers
  • Deep brain stimulation and duodopa pumps may be used in severe cases and can be a very powerful treatment for dyskinesia