What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressive disorder, generally associated with tremor, stiffness, rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement. Patients with PD have low dopamine levels in the brain. The medications for PD increase the level of dopamine. When the PD medications are not working (off-time), the tremor and stiffness will return. Patients may have wiggly or writhing movements (dyskinesias). When the patient is experiencing dyskinesias it usually indicates that the Sinemet (carbadopa-levadopa) and/or Stalevo level is high.

Characteristics of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Tremor
  • Rigidity / Stiffness of muscles
  • Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
  • Stooped posture
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty walking / imbalance & falls
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dementia / Hallucinations / Confusion
  • Speech problems (reduced volume / slurred)
  • Constipation & Urinary symptoms
  • Drooling
  • Sleep disturbances (daytime somnolence, night time insomnia, acting out dreams)
  • Masked face (Flattened affect)


Factors that worsen PD symptoms

  • Not getting medications on time
  • Taking Carbidopa/Levodopa, Sinemet®, Parcopa® with protein or iron
  • Stress, anxiety, lack of exercise and/or the need for rest
  • Being prescribed incompatible medications
  • Infection