No known treatment can stop or reverse the breakdown of nerve cells that causes Parkinson's disease. But there are many treatments that can help your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
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 changes in your treatment to balance quality-of-life issues, side effects of treatment, and treatment costs.
Usually, the outward symptoms of Parkinson's are distinctive enough for a doctor to make a diagnosis in the office. There is no blood test or brain scan that confirms the diagnosis. But if you don't respond to the drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, it’s possible you may have another type of movement disorder that causes the same type of symptoms. Doing additional tests can help your doctor determine if some other problem is causing your parkinsonian symptoms.
Surgery.Brain surgery, for example deep brain stimulation (DBS), may be considered when medicine fails to control symptoms of Parkinson's disease or causes severe or disabling side effects. For more information, see Surgery.
Speech therapySpeech therapy. Speech therapists use breathing and speech exercises to help you overcome the soft, imprecise speech and monotone voice that develop in advanced Parkinson's disease.
Treatment for mental problems. You or your family members may notice that you begin to have problems with memory, problem solving, learning, and other mental functions. When these problems keep you from doing daily activities, it is called dementia. There are medicines that can help treat dementia in people with Parkinson's.
Your doctor, other health professionals, or Parkinson's 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.