Parkinson’s Disease Program

At the Eastside Neuroscience Institute, we offer a wide range of cutting-edge treatments and comprehensive care for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. 

If you have Parkinson’s disease, being able to access the latest therapies and leading specialists is key to enjoying a better quality of life. At the Eastside Neuroscience Institute, experts from Overlake Medical Center and EvergreenHealth, collectively utilize their decades of experience to create a comprehensive treatment plan to meet your unique needs.

At our Bellevue and Kirkland locations, you have easy access to medications, surgical treatments, rehabilitation services and mental health support. You can also participate in clinical trials for treatment options while also supporting global efforts to develop new and better treatment options. We’ve brought together the experts and services you and your family need to help you maintain an active, independent lifestyle.

Conditions we treat

Parkinson’s disease is a complex, multisystem nervous system disorder that may cause trouble with movement, regulation of bodily functions, sleep, and cognitive and psychiatric functioning.

While there are a number of commonalities, not everyone with Parkinson’s has the same experience. The three defining motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor (trembling or shaking), muscle stiffness, and slow or small movements, leading to impairment of coordination and/or walking.

Our multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive care for Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s can mirror other neurological conditions that cause abnormal movements.

You can rest assured we work together to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition. You can trust our specialists to collaborate to provide the best care for you and your loved ones.

We treat a wide range of movement disorders, including:

  • Ataxia: Incoordination of voluntary muscle movement, a symptom that can result from a number of diseases related to the brain.
  • Belpharospasm and Hemifacial Spasm: The eyelid and facial muscles contract and squeeze involuntarily.
  • Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration/corticolbasal syndrome: A rare condition where areas of the brain shrink and nerve cells degenerate and stop over time.
  • Dystonia: Involuntary muscle spasms contort your body into unusual positions that may be painful.
  • Essential tremor: Tremors, or uncontrollable shaking, affect different parts of your body, including your hands, arms, head and even your voice.
  • Huntington’s disease: This inherited condition causes uncontrollable movements in your hands, feet and face. It can affect your thinking and increase your risk of mental health disorders.
  • Multiple system atrophy (MSA): Also known as Shy-Drager syndrome, this condition affects balance, movement and coordination. You may also have bladder issues, sleep problems and low blood pressure that causes fainting.
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy: This rare brain disorder affects movement, walking, balance and eye movement.
  • Restless leg syndrome: Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, this condition brings on an irresistible urge to move your legs when you’re sitting or lying down.
  • Tourette syndrome: This inherited condition causes repeated, involuntary twitches, movements and vocal sounds called tics.

Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease

The movement disorder specialists at Eastside Neuroscience Institute have decades of experience diagnosing Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. This expertise is especially important because Parkinson’s disease causes symptoms similar to other movement disorders, making the disorder more challenging to diagnose.

We utilize advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to guide us in distinguishing your condition, leading to an accurate diagnosis. Our years of experience enable us to detect subtle symptoms that do not show up on other tests. We review findings and treatment plans together to provide the most inclusive treatment for your condition.

Comprehensive care for Parkinson’s disease

The Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center pioneered a comprehensive-care approach to the management of Parkinson disease in the Pacific Northwest, placing under one roof a full range of experts in Parkinson’s disease, including PT, OT, Speech Therapy, neuropsychology, nursing, and social work.

Medical treatment

Almost all patients with Parkinson’s disease eventually need to take medication to help with their motor symptoms. Treatment is highly individualized and adjusted over time based on symptoms and side effects.

Medications can ease symptoms and may slow the effects of the disease on your brain and body. You may benefit from:

  • Antiseizure medications to minimize tremors.
  • Botulinum toxin injections to temporarily stop muscle contractions.
  • Dopamine medications like Carbidopa/Levodopa, ropinirole, pramipexole, and rasagiline, among several others.
  • Duopa therapy to deliver carbidopa and levodopa medications directly to your intestines through a surgically implanted pump and tube.

Surgical Treatment

Based on the severity of the condition and your medical profile, the doctor may recommend surgery as one treatment option. Most surgical treatments are aimed at helping the tremor or rigidity that comes with the disease. In some patients, surgery may decrease the amount of medication that is needed to control the symptoms.

There are three types of surgeries that may be performed for Parkinson’s disease, including the following:

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS): This procedure involves placing a small electrode in the area of the brain controlling movement. The electrode is attached and connected to wires placed under the skin. The simulator is turned on and interrupts the flow of information from the brain and can help decrease symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Lesion surgery (burning of tissue): This procedure involves targeting areas of the brain that help control movement. Small lesions are made to help control or stop the area of the brain causing the tremor.

Although no treatment has been shown to cure the disease or slow the progression, medications and surgical treatments are important interventions to alleviate symptoms, lessen disability, and improve your quality of life.

Rehabilitation

Our experts work as a team to help you stay active, mobile and independent. We teach you how to do exercises at home, as well as provide strategies to help you cope with symptoms, such as changes in gait and balance. When needed, we help you get the assistive devices you need and help you learn how to use them, so you can complete daily tasks and get around better.

Our team includes:

  • Physical therapy to improve your gait, balance, coordination and strength, while decreasing your risk of falls and injuries.
  • Occupational therapy to help you create a successful at-home daily routine that ensures you have the energy and ability to complete tasks and self-care activities like showering and dressing.
  • Speech therapy to address speech, swallowing and cognitive issues, and provide you with assistive communication devices as needed.

Neuropsychological Services

Movement disorders can affect thinking, memory, behavior and mood, greatly impacting your quality of life. Addressing non-motor symptoms is an important component of care. Our comprehensive care team provides the support needed to deal with conditions that affect cognitive, behavioral and emotional changes. Our goal is to help you and your loved ones cope with the mental and physical challenges brought on by a movement disorder.

Clinical trials to expand your treatment options

Our team is at the forefront of the most advanced technology and treatments. We are part of the largest not-for-profit scientific network of credentialed Parkinson’s Centers. Our involvement fosters new research and ultimately informs new treatments for Parkinson’s. Our participation with the enormous network of collaborators allows us to progressively lead with innovation in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s and other related neurological disorders.

Leading Parkinson’s specialists

We collaborate with experts from multiple specialties to meet all of your healthcare needs. Your multidisciplinary team works with you to help you enjoy a better quality of life. The team may vary as your condition changes, but rest assured you will have experts at your fingertips.