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Parkinson Disease

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is Parkinson disease (PD)?

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.

What causes PD?

The exact cause of PD is not known. It may be caused by a problem with how your brain works. A chemical called dopamine helps your brain control your movement, thoughts, and feelings. PD causes brain cells that make dopamine to die, so they cannot make enough dopamine.

What increases my risk for PD?

What are the signs and symptoms of PD?

Symptoms often get worse over time. You may have any of the following:

How is PD diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your signs and symptoms. Your provider will ask about your medical history and if you have family members with PD. Your provider will examine you and may move your arms or legs to test your muscles. Your provider may check your balance and the way you walk.

How is PD treated?

PD cannot be cured. The goal of treatment is to help manage your symptoms. You may need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage PD?

Where can I find support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.