There is no cure for Parkinson disease, but treatment can help control your symptoms.
Your health care provider will prescribe medicines to help control your shaking and movement symptoms. These drugs work by increasing dopamine in your brain.
At certain times during the day, the medicine often wears off and symptoms can return. If this happens, your health care provider may need to change the:
- Type of medicine
- Amount of time between doses
- Way you take the medicine
You may also need to take medicines to help with:
- Mood and thinking problems
- Pain relief
- Sleep problems
Parkinson medicines can cause severe side effects, including:
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Feeling light-headed or fainting
- Behaviors that are hard to control, such as gambling
Tell your doctor right away if you have these side effects. Never change or stop taking any medicines without talking with your doctor. Work with your doctors and other providers to find a treatment plan that works for you.
As the disease gets worse, symptoms such as stooped posture, frozen movements, and speech problems may not respond to the medicines.
Surgery may be an option for some people. Surgery does not cure Parkinson disease, but it may help ease symptoms. Types of surgery include:
- Deep brain stimulation. This involves placing electric stimulators in areas of the brain that control movement.
- Surgery to destroy brain tissue that causes Parkinson symptoms.
- Stem cell transplant and other procedures are being studied.
Certain lifestyle changes may help you cope with Parkinson disease:
- Stay healthy by eating nutritious foods and not smoking.
- Make changes in what you eat or drink if you have swallowing problems.
- Use speech therapy to help you adjust to changes in your swallowing and speech.
- Stay active as much as possible when you feel good. Do not overdo it when your energy is low.
- Rest as needed during the day and avoid stress.
- Use physical therapy and occupational therapy to help you stay independent and reduce the risk of falls.
- Place handrails throughout your house to help prevent falls. Place them in bathrooms and along stairways.
- Use assistive devices, when needed, to make movement easier. These devices may include special eating utensils, wheelchairs, bed lifts, shower chairs, and walkers.
- Talk to a social worker or other counseling service to help you and your family cope with the disorder. These services can also help you get outside help, such as Meals on Wheels.