Two important issues regarding Parkinson’s medications are when to initiate them in the early phases of the disease and how to ensure that people use their medications on time, every time. Myths and misconceptions have surrounded the controversial question of when to start taking medication. Fortunately, research has provided some answers, indicating that early initiation of levodopa or other medications does not diminish their usefulness later on. In this episode, Dr. Indu Subramanian, Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, discusses what has been learned about the timing of the initiation of therapy.
She also provides strategies for getting the most benefit from medications, from taking them at the right time every time, to establishing other regular schedules, to working with your doctor at every visit to optimize benefits and minimize side effects. And as a neurologist who is also board certified in integrative medicine, Dr. Subramanian advocates for incorporating mind-body, movement, and breathing techniques, as well as connecting with nature when using medication and other traditional Western medical practices.
- Medications: A Treatment Guide to Parkinson’s Disease (book)
- Upcoming Expert Briefings (webinars)
- Fact Sheet: Medications for Motor Symptoms
- Fact Sheet: Medications for Non-motor Symptoms
- Episode 108: The Golden Year for Testing Disease Modifying Drugs (podcast)
About This Episode
Released: July 27, 2021
Indu Subramanian, MD
Dr. Indu Subramanian received her medical degree in 1996 from the University of Toronto, Canada. She did her neurology residency and Movement Disorders fellowship training at UCLA. Dr. Subramanian has stayed on at UCLA and is now a Clinical Professor of Neurology. She established the movement disorder clinic at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration and has assumed the position of the Director of the South West PADRECC (Parkinson Disease Research, Education and Clinical Care) Center of Excellence in Parkinson Disease. She has developed a strong interest in integrative medicine with a special interest in Yoga and Mindfulness. She underwent a 200 hour yoga teacher training and studied mindfulness at the VA with J.G.Serpa and Christian Wolfe through Insight LA. She is designing a yoga teacher training program for yoga instructors who are interested in working with PD patients. Dr. Subramanian recently got board certified in Integrative medicine. She is also passionate about palliative care in Parkinson Disease. She is the host of a virtual support group with world experts in PD and co-edits a blog for PD patients.
For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.