Hope starts here

Understanding your Parkinson’s Disease (PD) diagnosis is the first step to building a team and treatment plan that works for you. 

Millions of people around the world live with PD. It’s personal…and deciding how to manage and treat the disease is, too.1 We are here to help. Arm yourself with information and resources, so you can prepare for the healthiest future possible.

Removing the mystery

Having PD can feel confusing—and even invading—as symptoms come and go, tremors appear, and simple tasks become difficult. Understanding PD helps you remove the mystery of your diagnosis. 

PD is a movement disorder that is both progressive—meaning it advances over time—and degenerative, because it is characterized by a continuous decline of dopamine—producing cells in the motor region of the brain.

Dopamine is an important chemical substance that the brain uses to regulate movement. Dopamine declines in PD patients, reducing their ability to control or initiate movement, resulting in symptoms like tremor, slow movement, rigidity, and postural instability.2

Searching for answers

It’s natural to seek answers after a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Why did this happen? Did I cause it? Are my children or grandchildren at risk? Unfortunately, the exact cause of PD is still unknown. Researchers believe Parkinson’s disease is caused by a complex combination of factors involving genetics or familial history, environment, and aging. Studies haven’t been able to place more weight on one of those factors over another. As with many things about PD, the cause is diverse, personal, and dependent on the individual.3


Motor symptoms

Motor symptoms can make the activities of everyday life challenging.4

Non-motor symptoms

Even though PD is a movement disorder, the non-motor symptoms can have just as big an impact on your quality of life.5

Reaching a diagnosis

Arriving at a Parkinson’s diagnosis may take several wrong turns, diagnostic tests, and visits to doctors. PD isn’t diagnosed through a single test. You may first see an internist or family physician. The doctor will observe you for various symptoms, and then prescribe diagnostic testing from a neurologist specially trained in movement disorders.6 

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