How We Can Help
Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Information
We are constantly working to better understand what causes Parkinson’s disease so that we can develop better and more comprehensive treatments for you.
- Self-care. At our specialized Parkinson’s disease clinic we discuss your condition and the changes you will face as the disease progresses. Parkinson’s moves slowly, which allows you to take control of your care in ways that will improve your quality of life. We work with you to create a plan that includes exercise, eating well and knowing how your medicines may react with your diet.
- Medicines. There are many different prescription medicines used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Your physician will work with you to figure out which is best for you. Some of these medicines work to replace dopamine, and others mimic the effect of dopamine on the brain. Another group of medicines reduces fatigue, tremors and uncontrolled movements. Antidepressants may also be helpful in easing feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Exercise. Regular exercise can help improve your balance and motor coordination. It may also ease depression. Dance classes, yoga and cycling are popular among Parkinson’s patients. Boxing is also becoming a Parkinson’s favorite, as you can improve balance and health while “fighting” your disease.
- Nutrition. As with any condition, it is important to eat right to remain as healthy as possible. An IU Health dietitian can help you create an eating plan that works with your medicines and will maximize your nutrition.
- Neurorehabilitation. Using a team approach through the Neurorehabilitation and Robotics lab at the IU Health Neuroscience Center we tailor physical, occupational, speech and other therapies to help you overcome the sensory, motor cognitive and behavioral processes that may be impacted by the effect Parkinson’s has on your nerves.
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS). In this type of functional neurosurgery, your neurosurgeon implants electrodes in the center of your brain and connects them to a device like a pacemaker that is placed under the skin near your collarbone. Regular pulses from the device correct extra or misguided signals in your brain to help reduce tremors and other movement-related conditions. Deep brain stimulation is a very effective treatment in certain patients. We operate the largest DBS program in the state.
- Research. We are involved in extensive research about the causes, genetics and treatments for Parkinson’s disease. This creates opportunities for you to take part in clinical trials and offers access to leading edge advancements in care not available elsewhere. Current studies involve looking at environmental risk factors, such as pesticide exposure, and seeking biomarkers that may uncover what happens in the brain at different stages of Parkinson’s disease.
- Support groups. Parkinson’s disease takes a toll on your physical and mental health. You will require assistance from family members and others as your condition worsens. Support groups can be essential in helping you and your family feel better and more empowered to deal with the effects of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Disease Locations & Physicians
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Find a Specialist
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Parkinson’s Disease Support Services
Learn more about Parkinson’s disease treatments at these websites:
A Sampling of Parkinson’s Disease Support Services
Parkinson's Disease Support Groups in Indiana
Indiana University Health offers a list of support groups across the state.
Parkinson’s Awareness Association of Central Indiana
This group helps individuals and their families navigate life after a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
Rock Steady Boxing
This central Indiana nonprofit gym is dedicated to fighting against Parkinson’s disease through non-contact fitness boxing programs.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Patient information about treatments, research and clinical trials is provided by this division of the National Institutes of Health.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
This nonprofit started by Parkinson’s patient and actor Michael J. Fox supports research to find a way to eliminate the disease. Extensive resources are available on the site.
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
This group works to boost research, education and public advocacy for Parkinson’s disease.
National Parkinson Foundation
This nonprofit works to meet the care needs of those with Parkinson’s disease and fund research.