Jessica Karl, PA-C – Rush University Medical Center


I’m a PA [physician assistant] in the movement
disorder section of neurology. And I’m specifically in the interventional
therapies, which include surgical therapies such as deep brain stimulation and drug pumps
for diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and essential tremor. And we utilize these therapies when medication
treatments are no longer as effective at controlling symptoms of these diseases. Typically patients with Parkinson’s disease
take medication very frequently throughout the day. And after they get deep brain stimulation,
they’re able to reduce their medication by at least 50 percent. They’re able to have good time where their
symptoms are controlled 80 to 100 percent of the day — with less medication. I didn’t want to see a patient once and
then never again. So that’s how I got into the field of neurology
— and specifically movement disorders — because I form these long relationships with patients. So I tend to see patients every month, every
three months, every six months. And that really gives me a better idea of
their disease state, and I can better tailor my treatment — if it’s medical treatment
or surgical treatment — to help with their quality of life and manage their symptoms.

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