About Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive, neurological disease for which there is currently no cure. It is primarily a movement disorder causing slowness of movement, stiffness, rigidity, and tremor. It can also cause non-motor symptoms like depression, constipation and memory problems.

For additional information, click here:

NOTE: All of the links in this section are from the major national Parkinson’s foundations listed below.
However, the information provided is not meant to replace that of your own medical providers. Always check with them to see what’s best for your individual case.

American Parkinson Disease Assoc. at www.apdaparkinson.org
Davis Phinney Foundation at www.dpf.org
Michael J Fox Foundation at www.michaeljfox.org
Parkinson’s Foundation at www.parkinson.org

10 Early Signs

1. Tremor
2. Small Handwriting
3. Loss of Smell
4. Trouble Sleeping
5. Trouble Moving or Walking
6. Constipation
7. A Soft or Low Voice
8. Masked Face
9. Dizziness or Fainting
10. Stooping or Hunching Over

For an explanation of each symptom and what is normal, click here.

Newly Diagnosed

Most medical professionals will suggest actions like the following to those who are newly diagnosed:

1. See a PD Specialist (A neurologist who is a Movement Disorder Specialist)
2. Learn about Parkinson’s
3. Build a Support Team
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
5. Exercise Regularly
6. Consider Joining a Research Study

See what the Michael J. Fox Foundation says about these steps. Click here:

Young Onset

All Parkinson’s foundations and researchers hold to a similar definition of “Young Onset” Parkinson’s. Here’s how the Michael J Fox Foundation defines it:

“About 10 to 20 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience symptoms before age 50, which is called “young onset.” While treatments are the same, younger people may experience the disease differently. Scientists are working to understand the causes behind young-onset Parkinson’s.

People with young-onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) may have a longer journey to diagnosis, sometimes seeing multiple doctors and undergoing several tests before reaching a correct conclusion. As with Parkinson’s diagnosed later in life, YOPD is diagnosed based on a person’s medical history and physical examination. When younger people and their clinicians are not expecting Parkinson’s disease (PD), the diagnosis may be missed or delayed. It’s not uncommon for arm or shoulder stiffness to be attributed to arthritis or sports injuries before Parkinson’s is eventually diagnosed.”

Click to read more about the unique issues involved in Young Onset Parkinson’s,

Long Term Expectations

Here’s what the national Parkinson’s Foundation says about the next steps in going forward with Parkinson’s:

“While living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be challenging, there are many things you can do to maintain and improve your quality of life.

Finding the balance between a proactive approach and wondering what lies ahead can be overwhelming. Enhancing your own PD awareness starts with gathering the information you need when you need it.

Living with a chronic and progressive disease like PD is no small feat. How you experience and react to life with Parkinson’s is unique to you. Work on maintaining a flexible mindset. Adaptation can take many forms. With some adjustments and working alongside your care team, you do not have to give up important activities or aspects of your lifestyle.”

See the following links for more on this topic:


Treatment Options/Lifestyle

The American Parkinson’s Disease Association says on their website:

“While there is no cure for Parkinson’s at this time, there are a number of treatments that can ease symptoms. Parkinson’s medications are the mainstay of treatment, but modalities are often used in combination. Physical, occupational and speech therapy can be critical to the treatment plan. Surgical options also have an important role for a subset of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Finally, complementary therapies can be used to treat some Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Your physician and other healthcare professionals can help you determine the best treatment plan for your symptoms.”


For more details from the American Parkinson’s Disease Association on treatments, click here.


Similar to what most doctors would say about the important role exercise plays in living well with Parkinson’s and staying independent as long as possible, the Parkinson’s Foundation says:

“Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone, but for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), exercise is medicine! Physical activity has been shown to improve many PD symptoms, from balance and mobility issues to depression, constipation and even thinking skills.

In addition, research shows that exercise may have a protective effect on the brain, slowing the degeneration of brain cells. It is also an active way of coping with PD. Establishing early exercise habits is an important component of overall Parkinson’s management.”

Read more at https://www.parkinson.org/library/fact-sheets/exercise