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Parkinson's Disease Treatment Guidelines: What You Need to Know

Parkinson's Disease Treatment Guidelines: What You Need to Know

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson Disease and you are the primary caretaker, you need to know Parkinson Disease treatment guidelines and what to expect when it comes to symptoms and side-effects, if any.

Parkinson Disease Treatment Guidelines

While science has made great advances in Parkinson Disease research, a cure for Parkinson is still elusive. This is why when it comes to Parkinson Disease treatment, the main goal is to both manage the effects of the disease, as well as slow down its progression.

One thing about Parkinson Disease treatment is that there is no standard treatment. Every patient with Parkinson experiences different symptoms as it affects everybody differently. This means that treatment needs to be personalized, and it can also change if the symptoms get worse or if new symptoms appear.

Here are some of the prescribed Parkinson Disease treatments:

Lifestyle Changes

For patients with mild symptoms, adopting a lifestyle change might be the best way to slow down progression of the disease. This means making changes in the diet, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, and avoiding fatty foods, too much meat, and sugary foods.

Another important lifestyle change is to be more active. Exercise can help people with Parkinson maintain their strength and mobility, and also helps slow down the effects of the disease.

It’s also best to quit unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol.

Parkinson's disease treatment guidelines 2


Medication is an important part of Parkinson disease treatment. The goal of medication is to slow down the effects of the disease and improve the patient’s symptoms.

The most effective and commonly used medication is carbidopa/levodopa, which combines two different drugs. The role of levodopa is to turn into dopamine in the brain, because it is believed that low dopamine levels can lead to Parkinson.

Carbidopa, on the other hand, works to prevent levodopa from being broken down in the bloodstream, so that it can enter the brain. The dosage of this drug varies depending on the patient’s symptoms, and how effective previous treatments have been.

Physical and speech therapy

For patients whose symptoms have affected their mobility, or even their ability to speak, physical and speech therapy is very important.

Physical therapy aims to improve the ability of patients to move and care for themselves. Therapists also teach patients different exercises that they can do at home to improve their condition.

With regard to speech therapy, it aims to help patients improve their ability to communicate despite their condition.


For more advanced cases, surgery is a possible option. One of these methods is deep brain stimulation or DBS.

The DBS procedure involves electrodes, which surgeons implant into the brain. A device on the patient’s chest then sends electrical impulses to stimulate certain parts of the brain. DBS helps reduce tremors, halts involuntary movements, and improves movement.

Aside from this, DBS also improves the brain’s response to levodopa. However, while it does help slow down Parkinson, DBS still is not a cure for the disease.

This procedure cannot be done on all patients with Parkinson. Patients who don’t respond well to levodopa, in particular, are not recommended to get this procedure.

How to Take Care of a Person With Parkinson Disease

Should You Expect Any Side-Effects?

Medication and surgery may be prescribed as part of Parkinson Disease treatment and can have side-effects. So it is important to know what could happen, especially if you’re caring for a loved one with Parkinson.

Here are some possible side-effects:

For medication:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep

For surgery:

  • Infection
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Stroke

It is important to always ask your loved one about the symptoms they are experiencing, especially after a new form of treatment. It would be a good idea to jot these down on a notebook and observe their progress each day to keep track of their condition.

Learn more about Parkinson Disease here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Parkinson’s disease – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376062, Accessed January 14, 2021

Treatment | Parkinson’s Foundation, https://www.parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/Treatment, Accessed January 14, 2021

Parkinson’s disease – Treatment – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/treatment/, Accessed January 14, 2021

Parkinson’s Treatment Options | Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/parkinsons-disease/parkinsons-treatment-options, Accessed January 14, 2021

Current approaches to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2536542/, Accessed January 14, 2021

Treatment & Medication | American Parkinson Disease Assoc., https://www.apdaparkinson.org/what-is-parkinsons/treatment-medication/, Accessed January 14, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated May 27
Expertly reviewed by Jessica Espanto, LPT, MA, RPsy