About Parkinson’s disease

From diagnostic services to individual and family counseling, we are here to provide the care our patient and their families need.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition, which leads to depletion of the neurochemical and dopamine and affects movement. Over time, Parkinson’s disease can also affect thinking abilities and mood.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms

Parkinson’s disease symptoms include:

  • Shaking in the hands or fingers
  • Slowed motor movements
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty initiating movement
  • Poor balance
  • Stooped posture
  • Slower walking or dragging feet when walking


  • Changes in speech including lowered voice volume and hesitations when talking
  • Reduced facial expressions
  • Changes in memory, concentration or judgment
  • Changes in attention, problem-solving, memory and visuospatial skills
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression or anxiety

How we diagnose Parkinson’s disease

There currently is no single diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease.

To diagnose, our patient care team may use a few of the following tests:

  • Neurological and physical exam
  • Assessment of memory and thinking skills
  • Brain scans
  • Blood tests

Treatment for Parkinson’s

Currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are several medications to help manage symptoms. Levodopa, in combination with carbidopa, increase dopamine, which is diminished in Parkinson’s disease. Other types of medications, including dopamine agonists and COMT inhibitors, can also be used to help improve symptom management. Surgical treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, can reduce motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. Physical and occupational therapy can be helpful for improving balance, increasing mobility and preventing falls. Speech therapy can also help treat difficulties with swallowing, lowered voice volume and language production. Lifestyle changes such as aerobic exercise can also improve symptom management.

Our care is built on groundbreaking research and innovative new therapies for dementia.

Because of the world-renowned research at the Biggs Institute, our patients have access to the newest and most advanced treatments through clinical trials.

Learn more about clinical trials

Causes and risks of Parkinson’s

The exact causes of Parkinson’s are unknown.
Risk factors include:

  • Family history
    • The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease increases with the more relatives in your family diagnosed with the disease.
  • Age
    • People usually develop Parkinson’s disease around the age of 60 or older.
  • Gender
    • Men have an increased risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s than women.

Dementia resources

It takes a team of family members, caregivers and health care professionals to deliver the best care. We provide educational and supportive resources help support you.

View our resources

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