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Symptom Management for Parkinson's: Treatments and Therapies


When it comes to managing Parkinson’s symptoms, it can be challenging to find the perfect balance of medication, movement and exercise and therapies. The Parkinson Association of Alabama has released a new Parkinson Disease Resource Center online at www.parkinsonalabama.info.


The second section focuses on Treatments and Therapies. The site has five main categories under this umbrella: Symptom Management, Exercise, Medications, Surgery and Therapy.


SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT It is important to remember that with Parkinson’s, not everyone will experience every potential symptom. It is also important to understand each of these areas so that you can prioritize which ones may be impacting your current quality of life. By rating and prioritizing which symptoms may be impacting you the most and clearly communicating that with your medical professional, you are able to develop a wellness, treatment, and therapy path that will best benefit you. By providing you with an understanding of these potential symptoms, you may best discern treatment paths – and that even includes non-medical prescriptions with exercise, cueing strategies and holistic wellness strategies to include with lifestyle factors.


EXERCISE Research has proven the importance of exercise for those living with Parkinson’s, demonstrating both benefits and results. In this section of the site, we highlight professionals who can assist you with building exercise plans that will help to manage specific PD symptoms, highlight movement-based support groups and classes, and talk about payment assistance with an application available for PAA Movement Scholarships. Most importantly, we provide a list of exercise types specific to PD and how you can connect to local resources throughout Alabama, or through home based instruction and tutorials online.


MEDICATIONS This section breaks down common drug therapies used for motor and non-motor symptom treatment as well as medications to avoid or use with caution. We also provide tips to avoid potential medication interactions and overall best practice medication management strategies. You can download our FREE Medication Form template to help you track your meds, as well as understand how to plan for medication administration and advocacy during hospitalizations. Finally, we discuss some of the options available in Alabama when it comes to prescription payment assistance.


SURGERY Surgical therapies for Parkinson’s are available that include Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), enteral suspension of carbidopa/levodopa, and focused ultrasound therapy. Each has various risks and benefits as well as invasive levels. In this section, we break down each procedure with conversation starters to have with your neurologists – what makes a good candidate for these procedures, and how do you prepare for the procedures. Our goal at the PAA is to highlight all available therapy options to you, empower choice, and equip you for conversations with your medical specialists.


THERAPY Therapy is a critical component to your overall wellness plan when it comes to Parkinson’s disease. In this section, we break down the three most common therapies covered by insurance for Parkinson’s, including: Physical, speech and occupational therapies. WE also dive into some complementary therapies that fall outside the scope of exercise that some people find beneficial adding to their overall wellness plan. Learn more about specific Parkinson’s programs in this section such as LSVT BIG and SPEAK OUT Therapies.


We hope you will find the information within the Parkinson’s Disease Resource Center as a framework for conversations with your doctor and helping you map out your own plan, as unique as you are, to tackle Parkinson’s da

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