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Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
Hi doctor, I have a cousin who has irregular heart problem. He said that he has Wolf-Parkinson White syndrome. My question is the disease related to Parkinson disease and what are the treatment options for my cousin? Thank you.
Hi, thank you for your question. Wolff-parkinson-white syndrome and parkinson’s disease are two different medical conditions. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system which affects your movement. It is not related to Wolff-parkinson-white syndrome. Signs and symptoms of parkinson’s disease include tremor, slowing of movement, stiffness, impaired balance, slurring of speech and loss of facial expression.
These symptoms develop gradually over the years and can lead to complications, such as difficulty in chewing and swallowing, cognitive problems, sleep disorders, bladder problems, constipation and depression.
Meanwhile, Wolff-parkinson-white syndrome occurs when there is an additional electrical pathyway between the chambers in your heart, which leads to irregular or rapid heartbeat. These irregular heartbeats are not life-threatening, but they may cause serious heart complications and fainting spells. Treatment of Wolff-parkinson-white syndrome will depend on the grequency and severity of the symptoms. You may not need treatment if you do not experience any symptoms. However, if you do experience symptoms, the goal of treatment is to slow down your heart rate.
One of the treatments is vagal maneuvers. This involves simple actions like coughing, putting an ice pack on the face or bearing down. These actions affect the vagus nerve, which helps to regulate the heartbeat, slowing a quick heartbeat. Anti-arrhythmic medications can be used to slow the heart rate if these actions do not help.
If both these methods are not effective, you may need cardioversion. Cardioversion involves the attachment of patches on your chest to shock the heart electrically in order to restore a normal rhythm. The last type of treatment is radiofrequency catheter ablation. Catheters are passed to your heart and electrodes at the tips of the catheter are used to ablate the extra electrical pathway between the heart chambers. This will correct the heart rhythm problems permanently.
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