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Parkinson's Disease

Can anesthesia aggravate Parkinson`s Disease?

07/24/2000

Question:

My father has not been diagnosed yet but has a significant tremor in his right arm. His neurologist said it is probably Parkinson`s Disease. Dad does not feel he needs medicine for it yet. He had his colon resected in `98 (stage III cancer). Now his cancer blood marker is rising and his oncologist says an operation would be too much of a risk for him because anesthesia can aggravate motion disorders permanently. Is this true for both local and general anesthesia? Dad had no problems with his previous colon resection operation. Thanks for your help.

Answer:

Any major stress, and surgery and anesthesia would be such, can cause exacerbation of PD. However, this is not likely to cause a permanent worsening. Many patients with PD undergo surgery for various reasons and are able to tolerate this well.

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Response by:

Arif Dalvi, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati