Finding a doctor who is an expert in Parkinson’s disease (PD) can help you get the best possible care. Look for a neurologist, a doctor who works with brain and central nervous system conditions such as Parkinson’s. When possible, a movement disorder specialist — a neurologist with additional training to treat people with Parkinson’s at every stage of the disease — can be a key addition to a quality care team.
Neurologists with Parkinson’s expertise and movement disorder specialists can often recommend other healthcare professionals who can help treat day-to-day challenges. A holistic, team-based care approach can help you live well with PD.
Some people with Parkinson’s can find all their care in one place. Academic centers or large healthcare systems, such as Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence, house movement disorder experts — teams of neurologists, movement disorder specialists, physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, mental health professionals such as social workers and others who keep current in the latest Parkinson’s treatments.
People with Parkinson’s who live close to such academic centers may see a movement disorder specialist as their regular PD doctor. The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends that those without a movement disorder program nearby see a neurologist for primary care. Those who have the option should travel to see a movement disorder specialist a few times annually.
Once you have nearby neurologist or movement disorders specialist to help manage your PD, you may want to begin building an a broader healthcare team. When possible, assembling medically diverse experts to work with you in managing your PD symptoms can optimize your well-being.
Contact the free Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline at 1.800.4PD.INFO (1-800-473-4636) or Helpline@Parkinson.org to find expert care in your area, answers to your PD questions and nearby resources. You don’t need a reason to call; we are here for you. The Helpline is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.