Paralysis agitans; Shaking palsy
There is no known cure for Parkinson's disease. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms.
Medications control symptoms, mostly by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. At certain points during the day, the helpful effects of the medication often wears off, and symptoms can return. Your doctor may need to change the:
Work closely with your doctors and therapists to adjust the treatment program. Never change or stop taking any medications without talking with your doctor.
Eventually, symptoms such as stooped posture, frozen movements, and speech difficulties may not respond very well to drug treatment.
Medications used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:
Lifestyle changes that may be helpful for Parkinson's disease:
Less commonly, surgery may be an option for patients with very severe Parkinson's disease who no longer respond to many medications. These surgeries do not cure Parkinson's, but may help some patients:
Support groups may help you cope with the changes caused by the disease.
Untreated, the disorder will get worse until a person is totally disabled. Parkinson's may lead to a deterioration of all brain functions, and an early death.
Most people respond to medications. How much the medications relieve symptoms, and for how long can be very different in each person. The side effects of medications may be severe.
Call your health care provider if:
Also tell the health care provider about medication side effects, which may include:
Also call your health care provider if the condition gets worse and home care is no longer possible.
Lang AE. When and how should treatment be started in Parkinson disease? Neurology. 2009;72(7 Suppl):S39-43.
Weaver FM, Follett K, Stern M, et al. Bilateral deep brain stimulation vs best medical therapy for patients with advanced Parkinson disease: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2009;301(1):63-73.
Zesiewicz TA, Sullivan KL, Arnulf I, Chaudhuri KR, Morgan JC, Gronseth GS, et al. Practice Parameter: treatment of nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson disease: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2010 Mar 16;74(11):924-31.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885