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Talking to Your Doctor About Parkinson’s Disease
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- What is Parkinson’s disease?
- Are my symptoms compatible with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease?
- Is there any chance that my symptoms are caused by something reversible?
- Are my children at risk for Parkinson’s disease?
- Are there lifestyle changes I can make?
- Will I need medications?
- Are there surgical procedures that might help me?
- Am I a candidate for any surgical procedures?
- What are the statistics on improvement with various medications? With surgical procedures?
- When should I consider surgical procedures?
- Could my medications interact with any other medicines I’m taking?
- Are there any clinical trials that I could participate in?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that might work for me?
- Should I change my diet?
- What kinds of exercises might benefit me?
- Might I benefit from physical therapy?
- Can I continue to drive?
- Can you direct me to a professional who can help me learn stress-reduction techniques?
- Are there any support groups for people with Parkinson’s disease in my community?
- Should I sell my home?
- What is the usual progression of symptoms in Parkinson’s disease?
- Will I need to go to a nursing home?
- Is there any way to predict how severe my symptoms may become?
- Is there any way to predict how much disability I might experience?
- Are there any support groups for me?
- Are there any support groups for my family and loved ones?
American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/ .
Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn’s Current Therapy 2002. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/ .
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation website. Available at: http://www.pdf.org/ .
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013