Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Parkinson's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Frequently Asked Questions About Parkinson's Disease

Print out these questions and answers to discuss with your doctor.

1. Is There a Cure for Parkinson's Disease?

Although research is ongoing, to date there is no known cure or way to prevent Parkinson's disease. Still, research in Parkinson's disease has made remarkable progress. There is very real hope that the causes, whether genetic or environmental, will be identified and the precise effects of these causes on brain function will be understood. These remarkable achievements give real hope for the future.

Even though there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, by identifying individual symptoms and determining a proper course of treatment, most people with the disease can live enjoyable, fulfilling lives.

2. What Causes Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is caused by the progressive impairment or deterioration of neurons (nerve cells) in an area of the brain known as the substantia nigra. When functioning normally, these neurons produce a vital brain chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine serves as a chemical messenger allowing communication between the substantia nigra and another area of the brain called the corpus striatum. This communication coordinates smooth and balanced muscle movement. A lack of dopamine results in abnormal nerve functioning, causing a loss in the ability to control body movements.

3. Can Parkinson's Be Prevented?

To date, there is no known way to prevent Parkinson's disease. But, there are several treatment options, including drug therapy and/or surgery that can reduce the symptoms, and make living with the disease easier.

4. What Is the Difference Between Tremors and Parkinson's Disease?

The most common cause of tremor (involuntary shaking) is a condition called essential tremor. Both essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are movement disorders. A movement disorder can be defined as any disease or injury that interferes with an individual's movement.

ET and PD are different conditions but are sometimes associated because they share many features.

Essential tremor is a disease of the body's system of nerves characterized by tremors. Areas affected most often include the hands, arms, head, and sometimes the voice. Essential tremor does not affect life expectancy, but it can become disabling for many common activities, such as writing and eating. ET also does not increase the risk for Parkinson's disease.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Parkinsons disease illustration
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
hands on walker
How does the disease progress?
man with serious expression
8 common questions and answers.
intelligence quotient illustration
What are the advantages of DBS?
Parkinsons Disease Medications
Questions Doctor Parkinsons
Eating Right
Parkinsons Exercise
daughter consoling depressed mother
senior man's hands
Parkinsons Daily

WebMD Special Sections