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Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system. Nerve cell damage in the brain decreases dopamine levels, causing tremors, stiffness and loss of balance. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage these symptoms.

Parkinson's disease care in Greater Denver

The road ahead with Parkinson's disease is difficult, but we make sure you don't travel it alone.

HealthONE offers customized treatment plans based on the unique needs of how your movement disorder is impacting you. While there may be no cure, we specialize in effective symptom management through lifestyle recommendations, medication and surgery.

Expert advice, available 24/7

Free health-related information is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Free health-related information is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Most symptoms of Parkinson's disease typically start slowly and increase in severity over time. Not everyone develops every symptom, and some develop signs earlier than others, including:

  • Bladder control issues
  • Body temperature changes
  • Changes in personality
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Cramping (mainly in the legs)
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Depression
  • Difficulties eating and writing
  • Fatigue
  • Fluctuating blood pressure
  • Inability to move
  • Increase in urination frequency (nocturia)
  • Increased risk of falling
  • Increased sweating
  • Memory issues
  • Muscle stiffness or rigidness
  • Oily-looking skin (seborrhea)
  • Reduced or loss of sense of smell
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sleep issues
  • Slowed movements (bradykinesia)
  • Stooped posture
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Unsteadiness while walking

Services we provide for Parkinson's disease

Beginning with diagnosis and continuing through treatment and ongoing therapies, we are with you at every stage of Parkinson's disease.

What causes Parkinson's disease?

The specific causes of Parkinson’s disease are largely unknown. Some scientists and researchers suggest that genetics, the environment or both could play a role. However, there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease, such as:

  • Age — A diagnosis is usually made in people 50 years old and older, but onset can be anywhere from 35 to 85 years old.
  • Gender Men are 1.5 times more likely to develop the disease.
  • Genetics — For people diagnosed before 50 years old, most have abnormal genes that tend to run in their families. For those diagnosed after 60 years old, the role of genetics is unclear.

Diagnosing Parkinson's disease

Although there are no laboratory tests for this disease, there are several things doctors look for when making a diagnosis. They will perform a physical exam and review your medical history. Our movement specialists will also look for the presence of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

However, because everyone may not show the common symptoms, a neurological exam may be ordered to allow us to observe and evaluate you more closely. If a diagnosis is still unclear, other tests may be conducted, including medical imaging exams.

Parkinson's disease treatments

Our movement disorder specialists combine leading-edge technology and research with extensive expertise to craft a custom plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

Noninvasive focused ultrasound treatment

We offer a highly specialized and advanced treatment for essential tremor and Parkinson's disease that doesn't require surgery: Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (FUS or MRgFUS). This typically same-day treatment is not surgery, but, instead, uses MR imaging to target and treat the anomalies in the brain causing tremors. This can provide you with quick, effective symptom relief.

Other nonsurgical treatments

Although FUS is an excellent option to treat tremors associated with Parkinson's disease, there is ultimately not a cure, so the primary treatment options usually involve symptom management. This is typically in the form of medications that increase dopamine. However, most treatment plans include a combination of various factors, depending on the severity of your condition.

Lifestyle changes

Specific lifestyle changes vary depending on your needs, goals, symptoms and current lifestyle. Some recommended changes may include more rest, diet changes, exercise, stress and depression management, as well as home safety modifications.


Medications that help relieve Parkinson’s disease symptoms involve either increasing the amount of dopamine or activating the dopamine receptors. Carbidopa and levodopa are typically the most effective in this category.

Speech therapy

If the disease is affecting your ability to speak, including being able to speak loud enough to be heard, then speech therapy may help.

Neurosurgical procedures

While surgery is not always used in Parkinson's disease treatment, typically, if it is, it involves deep brain stimulation (DBS), a form of neurostimulation.

In DBS, electrodes are placed in different areas of the brain, where electrical impulses can result in symptom reduction. This procedure is less invasive than other surgical options, may be reversible if necessary and is adjustable to help meet the specific needs of the patient. However, every surgical procedure involves risks and should be discussed with your neurologist.

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