Parkinson’s Disease Treatment and Care

Banner Health’s Parkinson’s disease experts work with you to find the right treatment plan for your needs. Your plan may include medications combined with neurological rehabilitation, support groups and other therapies. When medication is no longer controlling symptoms, our doctors can use more advanced techniques.

How Is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?

Life expectancy has increased dramatically due to advances in treatment. Medications, rehabilitation and other therapies are especially helpful in the earliest stages of the disease. These treatments can improve a patient’s quality of life.

Our team of experts takes a comprehensive approach to your treatment, including medications, advanced care options, research and clinical trials, support groups and education programs all focused on helping you manage your symptoms and continuing your favorite activities.

  • Medication: Levodopa (L-dopa) is the most commonly prescribed medicine for Parkinson's as it’s the best at controlling symptoms, particularly slow movements and stiff, rigid body parts. Although Parkinson's drugs are considered safe, they can cause side effects, such as nausea, low blood pressure and confusion, as well as interactions with other drugs.
  • Neurological rehabilitation: Banner Health’s neurological rehabilitation program incorporates physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and other services to help improve mobility, health and independence, including communication, memory and self-image. Learn more about Banner Health’s neurological rehabilitation program.
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS): A device that delivers electrical pulses is surgically implanted in the brain to control movement and block signals that cause Parkinson’s symptoms. Side effects from DBS may include seizure, infections, headache, confusion and stroke.
  • Stem cell therapy: Researchers are looking at possible therapeutic approaches using stem cells for Parkinson’s treatment and prevention.
  • Lifestyle modifications: The following lifestyle changes can help improve your quality of life as well as delay the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
    • Get more rest: Get a solid 8 hours of sleep per night, as well as napping during the day. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble sleeping.
    • Exercise: Build your strength, stamina, coordination and flexibility to decrease rigidity/stiffness and increase mobility.
    • Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can give you energy and help manage your symptoms. Consider consulting a dietitian for help building the right diet for you.
    • Manage stress: Stress can worsen Parkinson’s symptoms and facing a degenerative disease is undoubtedly stressful. Stress management techniques can help. Get treatment for depression if you need it. Learning about your disease can help reduce your anxiety as well.
  • Clinical trials: Find new treatment options from clinical trials currently enrolling at Banner Health.

Support for Parkinson’s

If you or a loved one is living with Parkinson's disease, Banner Health can help. In addition to offering the most advanced medical treatments, we encourage our patients and their families to connect with others. Learn more about our support groups, including Coffee Talk for People with Parkinson’s and Care Partners.