Parkinson’s Disease Treatment and Rehabilitation Options

If you have Parkinson’s disease, our dedicated care team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurse specialists, social workers, and occupational, speech, and physical therapists will work with you to create a treatment plan that can improve your quality of life and help minimize the effects of your condition.


While there are no cures for Parkinson’s disease, there are treatments that can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Options range from medicines and physical therapy to advanced neurosurgery.

Medicines are the foundation of treatment for Parkinson’s disease. You may need a combination of medications, or your doctor may need to adjust your medication if it stops working after a certain period.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease respond to different medications, which can:

  • Help the brain make more dopamine, which is lost in the disease.
  • Mimic the function of dopamine.
  • Improve the function of other brain centers affected by less dopamine.
  • Slow the loss of brain cells.


Parkinson’s disease can affect your physical movements and speech. Working with a therapist can help maintain your independence.

  • Occupational therapy. Occupational therapy for Parkinson’s Disease addresses issues related to decreased independence with daily living activities, improving engagement in a daily routine, and addressing problems with arm function. Occupational therapy sessions may address tremor management, handwriting, adaptive equipment training for tasks such as dressing and bathing, hand strength and coordination, visual perceptual functioning, and training in ways to improve independence with activities of daily living.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can address many issues related to PD including: increased fall risk, loss of balance, shuffling of gait, and freezing of gait. Our physical therapists hold PD Specialist certifications including Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT/BIG), Delay the Disease, and Parkinson’s Wellness and Recovery (PWR!). Both therapies are designed to treat the unique challenges of patients with Parkinson’s Disease to optimize quality of life. Physical therapy sessions will include large amplitude (BIG) movements exercises and high effort exercises.
  • Speech therapy. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can impact an individual’s ability to communicate, think, and swallow. Speech therapy helps increase vocal strength, improve speech intelligibility, improve cognitive processing, and improve swallowing. Our speech therapists hold PD Specialist certifications and are certified in Lee Silverman Voice Training (LSVT/LOUD).

Find therapy options at Premier Health at a location near you.

Parkinson’s Wellness Program (formerly Delay the Disease): If you have Parkinson’s disease, you may find this unique exercise program to be a life-changer, as many have described it. The program is based on evidence that indicates that structured exercise routines can retrain your mind and body to keep you in control. Learn more about this program.

LSVT BIG and LOUD: Parkinson’s disease affects the way you walk and talk. That’s because the disease changes the way your brain sends signals to your body, and you may not even be aware of these changes. Since 1987, LSVT* BIG and LOUD rehab programs have been shown to produce significant improvements in symptoms. Learn more about this program.

* LSVT = Lee Silverman Voice Training


If medications do not effectively control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or the side effects are not tolerable, you may benefit from surgery. Neurosurgery is also an option if severe tremors reduce your quality of life.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS)[link to Healthwise: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Surgery] is a type of neurosurgery that can control many movement disorder symptoms, including Parkinson’s disease. DBS is not a cure, but it can provide relief. A neurostimulator device (similar to a heart pacemaker) is implanted under the skin in your chest. Thin wire electrodes are placed in your brain and are connected to the neurostimulator. Electrical impulses stimulate the brain, which can improve tremor, stiffness, slowness, dyskinesia, medication effectiveness, and even mobility. However, when the DBS device is off, your symptoms will likely remain. Your neurologist will discuss whether DBS surgery is right for you.

Clinical Trials

While there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, or dystonia, stem cells and other therapies can offer hope for the future. Clinical trials are an invaluable way to get involved in the pursuit of finding a cure or improving the quality of life for people with a movement disorder. Talk with your care team to learn if you are eligible to take part in a clinical trial.

Additionally, the Premier Health and Wright State University Neuroscience Institute participates in the international Parkinson's Study Group for groundbreaking clinical trials. This group is the largest non-profit network of Parkinson’s centers in North America and plays a vital role in bringing innovative medications to market, changing the course of Parkinson’s disease with new treatments. 

When you participate in a Parkinson's Study Group trial, you get access to medications not yet on the market — and all your expenses are covered, including medications, clinical visits, laboratory tests, and neuroimaging. Talk with your neurologist or therapist for more information on clinical trials.

Here For You

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, our care team is here for you. To connect with a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s disease, please call (844) 277-2894(844) 277-2894.