Treating Parkinson Disease: An Overview

Treatment for Parkinson disease has greatly improved over the years. Today, there are many treatments that can ease symptoms and improve your quality of life. These include medicines that help you control your movements. Staying active is also important. And if medicines aren’t helping, surgery may be an option.

Medicine

Medicines are the most important treatment for Parkinson disease. Most types replace missing dopamine or imitate the way dopamine works in the brain. This helps you have better control over your movements. If needed, your healthcare provider may also prescribe medicine for constipation, sleep problems, and other symptoms.

Activity and exercise

Staying active is another vital part of treatment. Regular exercise helps keep your muscles strong and loose. It’s also crucial for overall health. If you’re already active, stick with your routine as much as you can. If you’re not active, now’s the time to start. Ask your provider which activities are best for you. It also helps to do activities that engage your mind. These include hobbies, crafts, reading, and socializing with friends.

Surgery

Surgery isn't a cure. But it may be an option for people whose symptoms are no longer well controlled by medicine:

  • Deep brain stimulation. This is the most common type of surgery. And it's the type of surgery that's preferred in most cases. A thin wire is implanted in the part of the brain that controls movement. Electrical pulses are then sent through the wire. This can help disrupt brain activity that causes symptoms.

  • Lesioning (pallidotomy and thalamotomy). This procedure surgery a small amount of tissue in a certain part of the brain. This can help you have better control over your movements by blocking activity in the brain that causes symptoms.  

Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Campellone MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2021
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.