Parkinson’s Disease at Saint Barnabas Medical Center

Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease at Saint Barnabas Medical CenterParkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder in which certain parts of the central nervous system and brain degenerate for unknown reasons. It is also classified as a movement disorder, because the disease symptoms include tremors, rigid or slowed movement and impaired walking and hand control. These symptoms are generally treated by a specially trained neurologist called a movement disorder specialist.

At Saint Barnabas Medical Center, individuals with Parkinson’s Disease can be treated by movement disorder specialist, Arash Fazl, MD, PhD. Dr. Fazl, a Barnabas Health Medical Group provider, brings with him impressive credentials. Dr. Fazl received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Boston University and his M.D. from Tehran University of Medical Science. He completed his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and then his fellowship training at the Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Although there is no known cure for Parkinson’s, there are other avenues of treatment. There are many drugs that may control symptoms and help patients feel better, especially in the disease’s early stages. And new treatments in the research pipeline promise exciting advances. In the next decade we hope to see many breakthroughs in medical management of the disease.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center also offers Deep-Brain Stimulation. DBS is an established treatment reserved for individuals who are unable to control their disease with medication alone. Dr. Fazl partners with neurosurgeon Paul Gigante, MD, to offer deep-brain stimulation to his patients.

For Parkinson’s Disease Patients Going to the Hospital

Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease must take medications on their schedule—not according to hospital routine or convenience. If they don’t get medications on their specific timetable, they may experience breakthrough symptoms, such as tremors or trouble swallowing. In consultation with medical experts and the medical center’s Parkinson’s Disease Patient Family Advisory Council, Saint Barnabas Medical Center offers the following tips for Parkinson’s Disease patients who go to the ER or are admitted to the hospital:

  • Bring a list of all medications including dosages and specific times you take them.
  • Bring contact information for the neurologist or movement specialist who is treating your Parkinson’s.
  • If possible, pack Parkinson’s medications in the original packaging for use if they are not available in the hospital pharmacy.
  • Verbalize or have a list of key symptoms you experience when medications are wearing off, so the staff is fully aware of what to look out for when doing assessments.
  • Bring an emergency contact list, your contact information and, if applicable, a health care proxy card or living will.
  • Ensure physical therapy is ordered during a hospital stay to prevent muscle de-conditioning.
  • Don’t hesitate to advocate for yourself.