Skip to Content
Is your RA under control? Take an assessment and find out

Parkinson's Disease


Parkinson disease (PD) is a long-term movement disorder. The brain cells that control movement start to die and cause changes in how you move, feel, and act. Even though PD may progress and have a severe impact on your daily life, it is not a life-threatening disease.



  • Anti-Parkinson medicines: These are used to improve movement problems, such as muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness. Your primary healthcare provider may use several types of this medicine to help manage your symptoms.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or neurologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your Parkinson disease:

  • Nutrition: Foods high in protein and dairy can cause problems with how some of your medicine works. Ask your primary healthcare provider or neurologist how much protein and dairy is safe to eat. Your primary healthcare provider may tell you to eat foods high in fiber to make it easier to have a bowel movement. Examples are cereals, beans, vegetables, and whole-grain breads. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.

  • Driving: Do not drive unless your primary healthcare provider says it is okay.

  • Exercise and physical therapy: A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. This may help you control your body movements, keep your balance, and fall less often.

  • Occupational therapy: An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities. Your occupational therapist may help you choose special equipment to help you at home and work. He can also suggest ways to keep your home and workplace safe.

  • Speech therapy: A speech therapist may work with you to help you talk or swallow.

  • Counseling: A mental health counselor will listen and teach you new ways to act towards things that bother you. Your family may attend meetings to learn new ways to take better care of both you and themselves.

For support and more information:

  • American Parkinson Disease Association
    135 Parkinson Ave.
    Staten Island , NY 10305
    Phone: 1- 718 - 981-8001
    Web Address:
  • National Parkinson Foundation
    1501 N.W. 9th Avenue / Bob Hope Road
    Miami, Florida , 33136-1494
    1501 N.W. 9th Avenue / Bob Hope Road
    Miami, Florida , 33136-1494
    Phone: 1- 305 - 243-6666
    Phone: 1- 800 - 327-4545
    Web Address:

Contact your primary healthcare provider or neurologist if:

  • You have a fever.

  • You are not sleeping well or you sleep more than usual.

  • You cannot eat or are eating more than usual.

  • You feel that your condition is getting worse.

  • You have new symptoms since your last appointment.

  • Your sad feelings or thoughts change the way you function during the day.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You feel like hurting or killing yourself or others.

  • You feel lightheaded, dizzy, or faint.

  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath.

  • You have weakness in an arm or leg.

  • You become confused, or have difficulty speaking.

  • You have dizziness, a severe headache, or vision changes.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.