Parkinson’s Disease Program
An accurate diagnosis of a movement disorder relies on a combination of tests and a carefully documented history of the problem. A comprehensive diagnostic work-up at the JFK Neuroscience Institute is developed for each patient that may include some or all of the following:
- A comprehensive medical history
- A complete physical and neurological examination
- Blood tests (routine chemistries, CBC, ceruloplasmin)
- Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
- Functional MRI Scan
- Computed Tomography (CT) scans DaTscan
- Lumbar puncture
- Autonomic testing
After the comprehensive evaluation, the patient and family are offered a list of treatment options tailored to the patient’s specific problems, including: injections, psychological evaluations, rehabilitation efforts, and surgery. They are aimed at improving the function and quality of life of the patient.
- Adjusting current medications
- Adding new, standard medications
- Investigational medications
- Establishing eligibility for enrollment in ongoing clinical trials
- Consulting a certified dietitian for nutrition therapy
- Injections: Botulinum toxins
- Evaluation by a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
- Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
- Psychological Evaluations
- Neuro-psychological evaluation for cognitive rehabilitation
- Psychological evaluation for mood disorders
The JFK Neuroscience Institute is one of only a few New Jersey Parkinson’s Disease Centers that performs Deep Brain Stimulus (DBS). DBS can be highly effective in reducing or even eliminating the effects of certain motor symptoms such as tremors or, in advanced cases, uncontrolled involuntary muscle movement (dyskinesia).
Another option is Carbidopa/Levidopa Enteral Suspension (Duopa). Patients must meet certain criteria to qualify for these procedures.
The JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute offers comprehensive services for Parkinson’s Disease patients encompassing medical evaluation and therapeutic intervention, as well as cutting-edge approaches to improving and maintaining function. Each patient is treated individually with a customized treatment plan that includes programs for continued generalization of acquired skills into the home environment and community settings.
Living with Parkinson's
Our Approach for Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease
- Medication compliance
- Rehabilitation services for essential therapy
- Adaptive equipment
- Adapting the home environment for safety
- Ongoing psycho-social support
- Education on new and ongoing treatment options
- Diet and nutritional information
- Encouragement and inspiration on how to be one’s best self
Our Parkinson’s Disease program provides multi-professional consultation by a team that includes a physiatrist (Doctor of Rehabilitative Medicine), a physical therapist and a speech language pathologist. This visit provides you with an opportunity to be evaluated by a team of professionals assessing posture, balance and overall function for the purpose of deciding which services are beneficial to your condition. This approach allows you to have a group of professionals available for consultation and to obtain the necessary recommendations for ongoing or new treatments.
Continuity and Long-Term Care
Continuity of Care
We recognize that Parkinson’s Disease patient therapy needs to support carry-over into real life with successful generalization of strategies. Patients and families need to know how to continue navigating through their everyday lives after skilled intervention is completed as part of their treatment plan. It is important to return to physicians and therapists to evaluate effectiveness of current treatments, and manage changes or fluctuations in function. We are committed to being a community resource for all Parkinson’s Disease needs, including referrals, support groups, skilled therapies and necessary equipment.
If long-term care eventually becomes necessary, there are three Hartwyck Nursing, Convalescent and Rehabilitation centers within JFK Health: one of them houses the first dedicated unit for individuals with Huntington’s disease in New Jersey. Each center offers skilled nursing and respite care in pleasant, comfortable surroundings and allows patients and their families to remain in communication with and close to the care of their Neuroscience Institute physicians.