Parkinson’s disease is classified as a neurodegenerative disease, in the same category as MS and ALS. It is likely the most studied of all the neurodegenerative diseases, and the dysautonomic component of Parkinson’s is widely accepted by neurologists and other physicians.
TVAM (Transvascular Autonomic Modulation) is a relatively new but highly successful treatment that targets the autonomic dysfunction present in patients with Parkinson’s. Symptoms related to autonomic dysfunction include syncope (the tendency to pass out a lot), POTS (fluctuations in heart rate based on body position), fatigue, sleep disturbances, altered cognitive function (brain fog), thermal intolerance, headaches, and bladder or bowel dysfunction.
TVAM is effective at both reducing the intensity of these symptoms and also in improving autonomic function in Parkinson’s patients.
Two Types of Parkinson’s Patients
Parkinson’s patients can be divided into two groups. In the first group, which includes almost one third of patients, autonomic dysfunction is the predominant abnormality. For these patients, it is actually the symptoms of dysautonomia that have the greatest impact on their lives; this is widely known, studied, and accepted.
In this first subset of Parkinsonians, neurologic symptoms such as balance issues, difficulty walking, muscle stiffness, and tremors can be minimal or even absent. TVAM can provide life changing symptom relief for someone with autonomic dysfunction predominant Parkinson’s.
The second group consists of the remaining two thirds of Parkinson’s patients. While these patients often still have dysautonomia, it is their neurologic Parkinsonian symptoms that cause them the greatest difficulty. TVAM addresses function of the autonomic nervous system. Neurologic symptom improvements may also be experienced.
The most common neurologic responses are improved ease with walking, better balance, and decreased muscle stiffness, and these responses are noted in approximately half of patients treated.
Providing Symptomatic Relief
While we don’t know the impact of TVAM on Parkinson’s disease itself, we do know the impact on autonomic dysfunction, and in terms of symptom improvement, the results are quite positive.
Other currently available treatments remain focused on symptom relief. There are some invasive surgical procedures, such as deep brain stimulation, that can have a definitive effect, but not every patient will qualify. As with any invasive procedure, risk is a factor.
Patients who undergo TVAM should expect relief from the symptoms of autonomic dysfunction including fatigue, sleep disturbances, altered cognitive function (brain fog), thermal intolerance, headaches, and bladder or bowel dysfunction. Patients with dominant neurologic symptoms may experience improved ease with walking, better balance, and decreased muscle stiffness.
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease. Dysautonomia is also thought to be progressive. For this reason, we believe that early intervention is advantageous. The majority of patients we’ve treated are in later stages of Parkinson’s, but that is largely due to the lack of awareness for TVAM.
If you are a patient or know someone with Parkinson’s disease and are interested in more information on TVAM, please contact us toll free at (877) 792-2784 or (949) 221-0129.