In the first few years of living with Parkinson’s, your doctor will most likely utilize medications to help manage your symptoms. Medications often help minimize motor fluctuations (changes in the ability to move, often related to medication timing; also called “on-off” fluctuations). However, there are occasions when medication is not enough and advanced treatment options are considered.
It is important to explore surgical options with your PD specialist if this is something you may consider. While surgery can be an effective treatment option for some PD symptoms, these tend to be the symptoms that previously improved while using levodopa. Surgery is often reserved for those who have optimized and exhausted medications for Parkinson’s tremor, or who experience profound motor fluctuations.
Currently, the two most common surgical treatments available for people living with PD are called deep brain stimulation (DBS) and Duopa™.
Deep Brain Stimulation
This powerful therapy can improve several movement and some non-movement symptoms. Learn more about DBS, its benefits, and if you are a possible candidate.
Designed to increase “on” time throughout the day, this therapy replaces most medications taken in pill form. Find out if Duopa would work for you.
Other Surgical Options
While not as common, there are other advanced treatments that can help minimize symptoms. Learn more about how they work and their benefits.
Parkinson’s is in fact a “journey”—a path you start down with your initial diagnosis, but one that continues as you evaluate the various alternatives available to you, and one that further continues based on the decisions you make.
Page reviewed by Dr. Chauncey Spears, Clinical Assistant Professor and Dr. Amelia Heston, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Michigan.