Broader Parkinson's treatment recommended

Jan. 5, 2009 at 5:06 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The brain disorder Parkinson's disease, which leads to shaking and coordination problems, also leads to secondary orthopedic conditions, a U.S. study finds.

The study's author recommends all Parkinson's treatment plans include a multidisciplinary approach to address additional the secondary musculoskeletal health issues.

For instance, people with Parkinson's often move and walk less than non-suffers and generally stay indoors, the study finds.

Decreased movement may lead to bone loss, and reduced exposure to sunlight from staying indoors can decrease a person's vitamin D levels, needed to keep bones strong, the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons said.

The combination of decreased bone density and instability from tremors and rigidity caused by the degenerative disorder greatly increase a person's risk of falling, breaking bones and osteoporosis, the study said.

Author Dr. Lee Zuckerman, chief resident of orthopedic surgery at State University of New York's Downstate Medical Center, recommended patients check their bone mineral density and get treatment to reduce the risk of fracture.

He also recommended physical therapy, vitamin therapy, medication to increase bone density and therapies to optimize gait and rigidity.

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