National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Parkinson's Disease

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Older woman with child

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Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that occurs when nerve cells in the brain that make the chemical dopamine stop working normally. Symptoms begin gradually and can include, among others, trembling in the hands, arms, legs, and face, and poor balance and coordination. There are no laboratory tests for Parkinson’s, so it’s sometimes hard to diagnose. It’s unclear why some people develop Parkinson’s.

There's no cure for Parkinson’s, but medications and deep brain stimulation (a surgical procedure) may help control symptoms for a limited period. Some people with Parkinson’s also try complementary health approaches, such as massage therapy or relaxation techniques.

This page last modified May 24, 2018