This content was developed in partnership with the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Every person living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) experiences symptoms, disease progression and treatments that are unique to them. There is no single treatment plan that works for everyone.
The most common way to treat and manage PD symptoms include medications, exercise, rehabilitation therapies and surgical procedures. Treatment plans should be tailored to respond to an individual’s symptoms and personal circumstances. While there is currently no cure for PD, the goals of treatment are to minimize symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
Expert Care Team
Building an expert care team is a critical component to finding the treatment plan that works best for you. Working with professionals who specialize in PD is critical because they have a deeper understanding of the disease and available treatment.
PD specialists can help you to better manage your PD, reduce complications and allow you to enjoy a better quality, longer life. Finding your care team can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The Parkinson’s Foundation can guide you step by step through the process.
Including medication in your treatment plan is a decision between you and your PD specialist. Every person with PD is assessed to determine which medications are best for them. A medication treatment plan is developed by considering many factors including PD symptoms, response to medications, age and other ongoing health issues.
As with medication, surgery for PD is not a cure. However, it can be effective in managing symptoms, including tremors, the slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and rigidity. There are two primary types of surgery for PD: deep brain stimulation (DBS) and the Duopa pump.
Exercise is an essential component of every PD treatment plan. Physical activity – in whatever way works for you – can help people improve and manage PD symptoms like balance, flexibility, and coordination. The key is to find a routine you enjoy, so that you can stick with it.
Clinical trials are a type of research study used to test a new medication, surgery, or type of therapy. Participating in clinical trials provides people with PD the opportunity to receive excellent care while helping to bring more effective therapies to the market more quickly.
Palliative care focuses on improving quality of life and providing additional support for people with a progressive illness. Palliative care is appropriate at every stage of PD, from diagnosis onward. This approach helps people plan for the future and provides guidance for what to expect.
Learn More About Treatment Options on the Parkinson’s Foundation website:
- Medications: A Treatment Guide to Parkinson’s Disease explains the types of medications available to manage PD symptoms and can be used when working with your healthcare team.
- How Movement Disorders Fit into the Palliative Care Model features Adriana Gonzalez, a social worker specializing in PD. Gonzalez discusses the benefits of palliative care for people with PD and the ongoing relationship of the care team with the patient and family.
- Surgical Options for Parkinson’s Disease describes surgical options that can be used to reduce Parkinson’s symptoms in individuals with a specific symptom or symptoms.
This content was developed in partnership with the Parkinson’s Foundation. To learn more about Parkinson’s disease and find resources to help you live better with Parkinson’s, visit Parkinson.org or call the Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636).
- Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson.org