Guest: Dr. Marc Goldman introduces Parkinson's Disease support g - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Guest: Dr. Marc Goldman introduces Parkinson's Disease support group

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

April is Parkinson's Disease Awareness month. The disease affects about one million Americans, and those who have it often live with its debilitating symptoms for more than 20 years after a diagnosis.

Dr. Marc Goldman, a neurosurgeon from the Columbus Neurologic Institute, visited the WTVM studio to explain how to better understand Parkinson's Disease.

"Unfortunately, we don't know the cause of Parkinson's," explains Goldman. "But we do know that cells in the brain, the substantia nigra, degenerate or die for some reason, and that causes the brain to lose a chemical called dopamine, which leads to the symptoms."

Goldman says there are four classic symptoms for Parkinson's Disease: 

-Tremor: Shaking of a limb
-Rigidity: Stiff, painful muscles
-Bradykinesia: Slow small movements
-Postural instability: Difficulty with gait and balance

"Luckily there is good medicine that is available that can keep the symptoms under control," Goldman says. "The goal is to replace the dopamine in the brain that is being lost, and a medicine called L-Dopa can do that. When combined with Carbidopa, it's a medicine called Sinemet, the classic treatment for that. And that usually will keep the symptoms under control so the patients are not disabled by it." 

Goldman will be speaking at the kick-off for a new Parkinson's Disease support group  in the Chattahoochee Valley area on May 22, in the conference area at Midtown Medical Center from noon to 1 p.m. The event is free, and lunch will be provided.

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