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Complementary Medicine

People with Parkinson's May Seek Relief from Their Symptoms using Complementary Medicine

Our understanding of Parkinson’s disease has evolved from one in which the motor symptoms were the primary focus of treatment to one where the broader effects of the disease process are more likely to be acknowledged and treated, as well.  People with PD who are seeking relief from their symptoms may decide to explore complementary therapies, which can support or complement Western or traditional medicine. While there are many kinds of complementary medicine that might be of interest to someone living with PD, this section focuses on herbs, vitamins and supplements.

If you are considering complementary medicine, we strongly urge you to investigate the credentials and experience of anyone offering advice or product recommendations regarding such products.

Key Points

  • Most herbs and supplements have not been rigorously studied as safe and effective treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
  • The FDA does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements.
  • There is no guarantee of safety, strength or purity of supplements not monitored by the FDA.

With those facts in mind, learn more about some complementary medicines:

Page reviewed by Dr. Joash Lazarus, NPF Movement Disorders Fellow, Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine.