Psychiatric Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's Disease pic

Parkinson’s Disease

As an attending psychiatrist at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Antonio Bullon builds on more than a decade of experience with both inpatient and outpatient populations. Focused on the care of geriatric patients since 2012, Dr. Antonio Bullon draws on an in-depth knowledge of Parkinson’s disease and its psychiatric symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease stands out as the second most prevalent neurodegenerative condition in the United States today. It is perhaps best known for its characteristic motor disturbances, which include tremor and balance issues, though it also predisposes patients to a range of psychiatric issues. The most common of these is depression, which affects approximately 40 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Close to 20 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease experience major clinical depression, while the remaining 20 percent face a less severe form known as dysthymia. Its symptoms, including low mood and decreased motivation, correlate with a more rapid loss of motor skills and an increased overall cognitive decline. Affected patients also demonstrate reduced capacities for self-care and treatment compliance, while their caregivers experience higher levels of distress.

Dementia is nearly as common in patients with Parkinson’s disease. It presents a more severe form of the cognitive decline that is prevalent throughout the illness, though clinical dementia typically presents later in the course of the illness. Studies suggest that percentage of comorbidity between Parkinson’s and dementia continues to increase concurrent with duration of the illness, one population having showed a 78 percent correlation 17 years after diagnosis.

While depression and dementia remain the most common co-morbidities with the disease itself, certain treatments may predispose a patient to visual hallucinations and other psychoses. These symptoms are most common in patients taking postsynaptic dopamine agonists and may abate with medication changes. However, because some patients cannot tolerate change in medication without a worsening of motor symptoms, some may turn to specific antipsychotic drugs.

Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and depression should consult a physician to discuss potential treatments. Dementia may be more difficult to treat, though some newer drugs seem promising with certain populations.

Benefits of Membership in AAPDP

American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry pic

American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry

The medical director of the geriatric and neuropsychiatry treatment unit at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts, Dr. Antonio Bullon earned his medical degree from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. To stay current in the field, Dr. Antonio Bullon belongs to numerous professional groups, including the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry (AAPDP).

Dedicated to exploring psychodynamic therapy in clinical settings, as well as the emotional elements of culture and art, AAPDP provides an open forum for qualified psychiatrists and psychoanalysts to discuss relevant issues in the field. In addition to hosting annual conferences and ongoing educational opportunities, AAPDP publishes member publications such as the journal Psychodynamic Psychiatry; industry-news publication Academy Forum; and Academy News, a biannual publication about the academy itself.

Joining AAPDP confers upon members a host of benefits, including reduced subscriptions to the organization’s publications, discounted rates for insurance plans, reduced fees for events, and opportunities to participate in research and study groups. Members also have the chance to join international study tours conducted under the auspices of the organization.

To learn more about AAPDP or to download a membership application, please visit

American Psychiatric Association Launches New Online Registry

American Psychiatric Association pic

American Psychiatric Association

Dr. Antonio Bullon currently serves as the medical director of the geriatric treatment unit at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of dementia, depression, and neurodegenerative disorders. To stay abreast of new professional developments, Dr. Antonio Bullon is a member of the American Psychiatric Association.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recently announced a new tool, dubbed PyschPRO (Psychiatric Patient Registry Online), which will serve as a comprehensive registry system aimed at meeting MACRA (Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act) benchmarks outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The APA is also touting the registry as a boon for future research efforts.

In conjunction with its launch, the APA also identified Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore, Maryland, as the pilot center for PsychPRO.

The goal of the registry is to give providers an easy platform in which to aggregate and submit their quality reports. The tool also functions as a service for patients to interact with their providers, making it easier to chart overall progress. In addition, PsychPRO will also serve as a gateway for psychiatrists to send in required documents to be recertified annually by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

APA Learning Center Activities Provide Psychiatric Knowledge

American Psychiatric Association pic

American Psychiatric Association

An attending psychiatrist at Mount Auburn Hospital in Maryland, Dr. Antonio Bullon cares for patients who are elderly and who have been admitted for the evaluation and management of neuropsychiatric disorders. Also active within his professional community, Dr. Antonio Bullon belongs to the American Psychiatric Association.

With over 37,000 members, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) organizes a number of programs and events focused on improving member practices and education. One of the organization’s educational resources is the APA Learning Center.

Through the Learning Center, professionals are given the opportunity to meet MOC requirements, learn new skills, and earn CME credits. This can be accomplished by accessing any of the Learning Center’s more than 200 educational activities. The activities offered allow participants to take courses in specific subject areas as well as review books and articles relating to the field. On-demand courses and live events can both be accessed through the Learning Center.

As different activities are completed, the APA Learning Center automatically reflects them on an individual’s APA Transcript. This transcript also allows professionals to record their work from other CME providers through the APA’s External Certificate feature.

All of the APA Learning Center’s activities are available at a minimal cost or for free. Although the Center is available to both members and non-members, the organization does offer special activity pricing to professionals who belong to the APA.

Caring for a Person with Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

MetroWest Medical Center pic

MetroWest Medical Center

As medical director of the Geriatric and Neuropsychiatry Treatment Unit at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts, Dr. Antonio Bullon focuses on coordinating the treatment of patients with dementia. Dr. Antonio Bullon also has shared his expertise on television presentations about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

An individual in the advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease needs around-the-clock care. The person is unable to attend to his or her own daily tasks, including eating, bathing, and dressing. Because the ability to speak also disappears as the disease advances, the person typically cannot communicate needs.

It is thus important for the caregiver to anticipate needs, such as hunger and elimination, whenever possible. A predictable schedule can help both patient and caregiver. The caregiver may also find it beneficial to reduce sensory input, such as the number of foods on a plate, in order to reduce the patient’s resistance to daily tasks of living.

The caregiver must also be attentive to the patient’s struggles and help him or her to adapt whenever possible. Finger foods can make eating more pleasant for a patient who has difficulty manipulating a fork, while protein drinks can be beneficial to someone with difficulty chewing. The patient’s physician also can help the caregiver to ensure that the person gets enough calories.

Finally, the caregiver must be aware that although the patient at this stage may not be able to communicate in the normal way, he or she is still present inside the body. A person with Alzheimer’s disease still experiences sadness, joy, loneliness, and connection, and many experts believe that his or her core self is still present and aware. Shared sensory-based experiences, such as brushing the patient’s hair or listening to music together, can dramatically improve quality of life and deepen connection beyond attention to basic physical needs.

The Peruvian American Medical Society Brings Quality Care to Peru

Peruvian American Medical Society pic

Peruvian American Medical Society

As the medical director of MetroWest Medical Canter’s geriatric and neuropsychiatry treatment unit, Dr. Antonio Bullon leads a team of medical professionals based in Natick, Massachusetts. Dr. Antonio Bullon also gives his time as a volunteer psychiatrist and supports the Peruvian American Medical Society.

The Peruvian American Medical Society (PAMS) is a network of more than 400 American physicians who are dedicated to service efforts in Peru. Throughout the organization’s 40-year history, members have embarked on more than 100 service trips to Peru, helping thousands of underserved patients gain access to free medical care.

One of the organization’s longest ongoing missions is the Arequipa mission, which established and continues to support the only burn unit at the Arequipa Regional Hospital Honorio Delgado. The permanent mission has brought medical technology and an array of specialized surgeons over the last 20 years, allowing local physicians to treat approximately 3,000 patients each year.

Selva in Action Names New Medical Director

Selva in Action  pic

Selva in Action

A veteran psychiatrist, Dr. Antonio Bullon brings more than two decades of experience to his current position as the medical director of the geriatric and neuropsychiatry treatment unit at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts. An active member of the field, Dr. Antonio Bullon belongs to professional organizations such as the Peruvian American Medical Society (PAMS).

Founded in 1973 by a group of Peruvian physicians in Atlanta, Georgia, PAMS currently counts more than 400 professional members dedicated to improving and increasing medical care in Peru. Over the past four decades, group members have led more than 100 medical missions to rural and underserved areas of Peru through initiatives such as Selva in Action.

Recently, Selva in Action named Dr. Stalin Fran Vilcarromero Llaja its new medical director. He will lead the program’s team of volunteers in its ongoing mission of providing medical care to villagers in the Amazon basin region. Trained at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and the London School of Tropical Medicine, Dr. Vilcarromero specializes in diseases such as dengue, malaria, and chikungunya, among others.

APA Applauds New Parity Guidelines

American Psychiatric Association  pic

American Psychiatric Association

An accomplished and experienced psychiatrist, Dr. Antonio Bullon serves as the medical director of the geriatric and neuropsychiatry treatment unit at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts. In an effort to network with other professionals and stay up to date on the latest trends and research in psychiatry, Dr. Antonio Bullon maintains an active membership in the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

The APA recently came out in support of new policy initiatives by the White House’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force aimed at providing fair insurance coverage for individuals who require treatment for mental health conditions, including substance addiction.

The new policy guidelines were developed by the Task Force after soliciting input from key stakeholders in various focus groups. Some of these stakeholders included consumers, caregivers, and health plan providers. The APA also made suggestions in writing after last May’s annual meeting in which members had the opportunity to collaborate on the issue.

Communicating with Patients Effectively

As the medical director of the geriatric and neuropsychiatry treatment units at MetroWest Medical Center in Massachusetts, Antonio Bullon, MD, is responsible for leading a multidisciplinary team of professionals in the treatment of patients with various neurodegenerative disorders. Possessing over two decades of medical experience, Dr. Antonio Bullon has maintained a strong personal and professional interest in effective patient-physician communication.

Effective communication between patients and physicians is an important part of the patient-physician relationship and it plays a role in patient outcomes. When greeting a patient, physicians should welcome them by name, introduce themselves and their role, and sit down to help the patient feel more comfortable. Making patients aware of how much time they have to talk and what the physician hopes to cover helps things go smoothly and helps patients know when they should ask any questions.

Since the time available for physicians and patients to discuss things is typically short, finding out what the patients already know and what they want to know greatly improves communication effectiveness. Providing information slowly and in a simple way promotes understanding and cuts down on time. Patient-physician communication is also improved when physicians show empathy towards a patient’s feelings, but also tell the truth. Although the truth may be difficult for patients to handle, it’s important that they know exactly what is happening.