Health Plus: Living with Parkinson's Disease - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Living with Parkinson's Disease


An estimated 4 million Americans have Parkinson's Disease.  The condition affects the way you move.

In Health Plus, how medications are helping one Eastern Iowan with the disease lead a normal life.

It was the late 90's when Terry Bruce noticed he was having balance issues.  In recent years the loss of arm strength led to a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease.

"It's kind of subtle, everyday over a period of time it kind of gets worse," said Bruce.

The 67-year-old Cedar Falls man has been seeing Covenant Clinic Neurologist Sangeeta Goel for a few years.

"Typically Parkinson's starts out on one side. It does not start on both sides at the time. So they'll start having some slowness on one side. They will start dragging their arm or their leg. They would have a little bit of tremors," said Dr. Goel.

Doctors say a concrete diagnosis for Parkinson's doesn't exist, instead other neurological disorders are ruled out.

"He's dealing with his many symptoms very well. He keeps active. He exercises all the time. He's still working part-time and he's managing really well the symptoms," said Dr. Goel.

Terry takes two medication for Parkinson's to replace the dopamine the condition wipes out--it's dopamine that sends signals to your brain controlling movement.

"I think it's really important to just keep going. Do everything you can do while you can. And again I'll say you need to exercise," said Bruce.

Terry lifts weights to keep up his strength as part of regular exercise.

Next week we'll talk with a local doctor living with Parkinson's Disease.

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