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.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • Even with treatment, PD may increase your risk of behavior changes, depression, or anxiety. You may have confusion or difficulty thinking. PD may make it difficult to sleep. You may also have vision changes or difficulty smelling and swallowing. PD may also affect bowel or bladder control. You may have problems with low blood pressure, which may cause you to feel dizzy or faint.

  • If PD is left untreated, your symptoms may get worse more quickly. Your symptoms may make it hard for you to do your normal daily activities. You may feel bad about yourself and it may be harder to get along with others. You may fall and break a bone. You may have a higher risk of life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia, heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


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

  • Botulinum toxin: This medicine is given as an injection into your muscles to help them relax and be less stiff.


Your caregiver may do imaging tests to look for signs of PD. These tests may also show signs of other diseases that may be causing your symptoms.

  • MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your brain. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal in or on your body.

  • PET scan: A PET scan takes pictures of your brain and shows how the blood is flowing in your brain. It can also show where medicines and chemicals go inside your brain. A PET scan may show your caregiver if your brain has changed or is not functioning well.

  • Single photon emission CT: This test is also called a SPECT scan. A SPECT scan takes pictures of your brain and may show how the neurons connect to one another. A SPECT scan may also show where brain chemicals go inside your brain. A SPECT scan may show your caregiver if there are signs of PD in your brain.


Caregivers place an electrical device inside your brain during surgery called deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation may help to decrease symptoms, such as tremor and rigidity. Once the device is in your brain, you may turn the device on or off whenever you want.


  • 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.

© 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.