What is Dyskinesia
Dyskinesia or motor fluctuation refers to involuntary swaying movement of the body, including rapid jerking, twitching and twisting movements. Dyskinesia usually happens at the side of body which is most affected by Parkinson’s. However, most common parts are the limbs and trunk. Dyskinesia affects different individual at different time, frequency and severity. It can impart certain individual long hours in a day, some may be before or after the dose of medication, it can be so obvious and interfere an individual’s daily activities, it can also be so mild that an individual can hardly notice it.
What Causes Dyskinesia
Dyskinesia or motor fluctuation is not one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Rather, it is the side effect of long term Levodopa intake. People who have had Parkinson’s for several years and under medication of Levodopa might have higher chance to develop Dyskinesia. High dosage of Levodopa can be one of the factors too. In our brain, dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the Substantia Nigra. In Parkinson’s the dysfunction of dopamine system cause the quantity of dopamine to drop to minimum. Therefore, Levodopa is taken to temporarily restore the dopamine. However, Levopa has to be taken several times in a day, and so the level of dopamine fluctuates up and down. Dyskinesia or motor fluctuation is developed from this unsteady level of dopamine. Peak dose dyskinesia refers to the dyskinesia which happens when Levodopa is at its maximum level in the body. Whereas, diphasic dyskinesia refers to onset and offset of the Levodopa effect.
What are the Treatments Available?
It seems logic to reduce the dosage of Levodopa in order to get rid of dyskinesia or motor fluctuation. However, an individual will have to deal with the tremor, rigidity and slow movement which are not so well controlled with insufficient of Levodopa. Therefore, it is very important to access to personal preference in balancing: to have more “on” time but to experience dyskinesia or have more “off” time with dyskinesia well under controlled but other symptom such as tremor appears.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgery to treat severe dyskinesia. However, it is not an option for all Parkinson’s patients, only certain patients whose bodies aren’t responding to the medication or experiencing serious involuntary movements.
Like other surgery, there are potential risks a patient has to consider in order to undergo DBS. Talk To your doctor to find out more.
Alternative treatment is a highly sought treatment back in 1990’s. Alternative treatment brings very little or no side effects to patients. Permanent ariculotherapy is a technique based on acupuncture which successfully applied to treat Parkinson’s disease. This one-time-off treatment is able to relief muscle rigidity and at the same time it alleviates anxiety and others symptoms which associate with Parkinson’s.