There have been rapid and remarkable changes over the past decade in treating Parkinson’s disease (PD). The development of new medicines and the understanding of how best to use them and the older drugs have significantly improved the quality of life for people with the disease.

There is currently no treatment that has been proven to affect the disease progression or development of medication that can slow the disease process. There are two general approaches to the treatment of PD— improve the symptoms with medications and engage in physical therapy. Most patients with PD can be adequately treated with medicines that alleviate their symptoms. For the approximately 15 percent of patients for whom medicines are not sufficiently effective, new, highly effective, and safe surgical treatments are available.

Choices about medicines made early in the course of the disease have a strong impact on the long-term course of the illness. Therefore, you should seek the advice of doctors specially trained in treating PD (neurologist/ movement disorders specialists) even when the illness is only suspected. Movement disorders specialists are neurologists who have completed their training in neurology (brain and nerve problems) and have received special advanced training in treating PD and other related diseases.