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Frequently asked questions about Parkinson's disease

"The more information that you have got, the more chance you have of absorbing what is relevant and necessary for you. It is important to know everything"

  • §Just as each person with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an individual, so the condition follows a very individual course.

  • §Some symptoms may be a major issue to many patients, but hardly trouble another. There are also many different drugs available to treat PD. Few patients will be on exactly the same drug regimen. The condition also progresses at different rates in different people.

  • §Despite these differences, there are a number of frequently asked questions that many people with PD want to ask. Your specialist doctor or Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist will be best able to answer them. Some of the questions you might consider are:

  • §What is the exact medical condition I am suffering from? Is it Parkinson’s disease or parkinsonism (a group of conditions with symptoms like PD, but caused by drugs, stroke disease, or other rarer diseases)?

  • §How certain is the diagnosis?  Would any further tests, or a second opinion be useful?

  • §Why have I developed the condition? Is my condition inherited ? (The cause of PD is unknown and genetics play only a small role
  • §What symptoms will I develop in the future? How does PD progress and how quickly?

  • §How can PD be treated? What are the options and what are the pros and cons of each?

  • §Is it appropriate for me to start drug treatment now? How likely are side effects and what are they?

  • §Are there any complementary therapies that may help? What about exercise?

  • §Are there any other issues I should consider - work, driving, legal or financial affairs?

  • §With so many questions needing to be  answered, it may be helpful to write them all down as you think of them. Allow space to write brief answers under each question. Then you can ask them without having to worry about forgetting either question or answer.

The Parkinson’s Disease Society (tel 020 7931 8080)  can also provide answers to many of your questions. http://www.parkinsons.org.uk

Useful books, often available from the local library, include:

‘Parkinson’s At Your Finger Tips’, by Marie Oxtoby and Adrian Williams, published in 2002 by Class Publications, London. ISBN 1 872362 96 6

Useful websites include:

Frequently asked questions

Michael J Fox - About Parkinson’s

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This site has been established for the dissemination of information. While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site is accurate and current we accept no liability for any omissions or inaccuracies that may have crept in. If in any doubt please contact your doctor for further advice.

Last Modified 13 August 2004
Maintained by Matthew Harris