Support at every step
Finding a knowledgeable care team is as important as getting the right treatment at the right time. Learn about the doctors and specialists ready to help with your Parkinson's disease (PD), and build a team to support you every step of the way.
Primary care physician
You likely already have a PCP for overall health concerns and managing yearly check-ups. Your PCP should act as a foundation for you and a link between you and Parkinson’s specialists. It’s important to feel comfortable telling your PCP concerns, feeling heard, and knowing they will guide you to the right resource, whether it’s testing or a specialist.
Neurologists play a vital role in a PD diagnosis, ongoing treatment, progression, and care. They may be the first doctor to administer screenings, imaging, and tests to determine your diagnosis after a long road of searching for answers. A neurologist will prescribe medicine and work to find the right dose to manage your symptoms. Your neurologist may refer you to a movement disorder specialist for further therapy.
Movement disorder specialist (MDS)
You’ll still maintain your relationship with your neurologist while seeing an MDS. This is additional therapy, not a replacement for your neurologist. An MDS is a neurologist who specializes in movement disorder and has training in PD. Working with an MDS can help you learn to ease or manage your symptoms.
In the later stages of your diagnosis, you may consider surgical options like DBS. If you choose DBS, you’ll also select a surgical specialist to perform the procedure. Choosing DBS begins with a discussion with your neurologist about the procedure. Together, you will watch for the DBS “window” when surgery is most effective. When the time comes, a neurosurgeon will perform your DBS procedure, but you will follow-up with your neurologist and movement disorder specialist for after care and ongoing PD treatment.
As PD progresses, your neurologist or another member of your care team may refer you to various therapists who can help minimize symptoms associated with PD. There are many caring, knowledgeable professionals ready to help and they include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, counselors, and nutritionists.
Your loved ones, friends, family, children, partners, or coworkers play a consistent and present role in your support team. They will be there to provide assistance with everything from daily living needs to lending a supportive ear. Accept this love and support from those closest to you, and work with them to create a team and plan that’s right for you.
Having a conversation with your doctor
When you’re visiting a team of specialists and managing a calendar of appointments, it’s hard to keep track of questions and feedback. Be prepared with our “Doctor Discussion Guide.” Compose questions, take notes, refer back, and— most importantly—become your best advocate. Download and print our guide now.
Get the guide
Download the guide now.
Find a DBS Specialist
The right time to speak to a specialist is before you need one. Start your search for a DBS specialist early in your PD journey so you’re prepared when the time comes. We can help you locate a DBS specialist that’s right for you.
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