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Living with Parkinson's Disease

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Living with Parkinson's Disease

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but it is possible to maintain quality of life. Living well with Parkinson’s means having a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. It also means making necessary lifestyle changes, and developing a support network, so you can continue to participate fully in life. 

Your treatment plan will be focused on slowing the progress of the disease and managing your symptoms on a daily basis. This will include medications such as levodopa, as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. For some, it may include alternative and complementary therapies, participating in clinical trials, or surgical interventions such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). 

You will have to adapt your normal daily habits and routines to live well with Parkinson’s. This should include a regular exercise program (such as the Delay the Disease program offered through the Wellthon app). Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is also an important lifestyle change which can help ensure your body and medications perform at their best. 

There may be changes needed in your home environment, to ensure that you can move safely despite motor symptoms. This could be as simple as rearranging some furniture, or it could mean installing ramps and other safety features. It might mean taking advantage of assistive devices, from weighted utensils to walkers or wheelchairs. 

Living well with Parkinson’s is a team effort. Your team may include your spouse or partner, your medical team, in-home caregivers, family, and friends. It may also involve local support groups or other resources. Maintaining your emotional wellbeing and a hopeful outlook is often as important as maintaining your physical wellness. A solid support network makes that easier.

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Diagnosis

Parkinson’s disease is not diagnosed based on a specific test. Instead, a doctor can make a diagnosis based on the presence of two of the four major symptoms, along with some lab, blood and/or imaging tests to rule out other conditions. 

Living with Parkinson's Disease

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but it is possible to maintain quality of life. Living well with Parkinson’s means having a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. It also means making necessary lifestyle changes, and developing a support network, so you can continue to participate fully in life. 

Treatment

While there is no cure, many different treatment options exist to help address the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Each person’s individual treatment plan is based on a variety of different factors. These may include age, general health status, how far the symptoms have progressed, and how they respond to specific treatments. Medication, therapy, surgery and lifestyle changes can all be used to create an effective treatment plan.