No known treatment can stop or
reverse the breakdown of nerve cells that causes
Parkinson's disease. But drugs can relieve many
symptoms of the disease. Surgery also can be effective in a small number of
people to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
different for every person, and the type of treatment you will need may change
as the disease progresses. Your age, work status, family, and living situation
can all affect decisions about when to begin treatment, what types of treatment
to use, and when to make changes in treatment. As your medical condition
changes, you may need regular adjustments in your treatment to balance
quality-of-life issues, side effects of treatment, and treatment costs.
Why did I develop Parkinson's disease?
What are my treatment options?
What are the pros and cons of each treatment?
What short-term and long-term side effects can I expect from the treatment? Is there anything I can do to minimize them?
Can you recommend any support groups for my family and me?
Are there any non-drug options that might help? What lifestyle modifications can I...
Parkinson's disease causes a wide range of symptoms and complications.
This topic covers the overall management of the disease. This topic does not
discuss managing specific symptoms.
Initial and ongoing treatment
If your symptoms are mild, you
may not need treatment for
Parkinson's disease. Your doctor may wait to prescribe
treatment with drugs until your symptoms begin to interfere with your daily
activities. Other treatment methods (such as exercise, physical therapy,
and occupational therapy) can be helpful at all stages of Parkinson's disease
to help you maintain your strength, mobility, and independence.
There are many measures you
can take at home to make dealing with the symptoms of Parkinson's disease
easier. Simplify your daily activities so that you have the energy for those
that are most necessary. And arrange your furniture and other commonly used
items so that it is easier for you to move around and get to things in your
home. This can help keep you functioning independently.
regular exercise and eating a healthy,
balanced diet are important parts of treating
Parkinson's disease. Exercise can help you keep your strength,
coordination, and endurance as well as control your weight and reduce the
likelihood that you will become constipated. And although a balanced diet is
important, people who take levodopa should talk to their doctor about when to
eat protein, because levodopa may not work as well if you take it at the same
time that you eat protein.
Depression is common in people with
Recognizing and dealing with depression is an
important part of home treatment. There are medicines that can help the
symptoms of depression in people with Parkinson's disease. Your doctor, other health
professionals, or Parkinson's disease support groups can help you get emotional
support and education about the illness. This is important both early and
throughout the course of the disease.
Parkinson's disease progresses, the symptoms usually
become more disabling. Most people develop mild to moderate tremor. Movement is
often slow and limited due to muscular rigidity and the slowing down and loss
of automatic and spontaneous movement (bradykinesia). Treatment in this stage
is determined by weighing the severity of the symptoms against the side effects