Parkinson Treatment

There is no known cure for Parkinson disease and each person’s experience with the disease varies greatly. That’s why our Parkinson treatment plan is designed around the individual. Our goal is to help each of our patients lead a healthy, happy and rewarding life by carefully blending the most advanced medical therapies, patient education, emotional support, practical suggestions for daily living, and, if need be, surgical therapy. This approach is what brings people from across the Midwest, and the nation, to Milwaukee for care.

Our experts are among the few in the nation conducting leading edge research to find alternative treatments and help alleviate symptoms, including: medication management, rehabilitation services, behavioral health, home care, complementary medicine and much more.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms:

  • shaking or tremors
  • muscle rigidity
  • loss of balance
  • slow movements
  • stooped posture
  • loss of fine motor skills
  • arms don’t swing when walking
  • depression
  • sleep disturbances
  • difficulty with speech or swallowing

Let our team of Parkinson specialists develop a personalized plan that may include:

Lifestyle modifications: not everyone with Parkinson disease requires medication. Treatment involves lifestyle changes in areas such as nutrition, exercise and relaxation therapy to minimize symptoms and maximize adaptation.

Parkinson disease management: Our goal with medical management is to find the right sequence, timing and combination of medications to manage the physical and psychological symptoms of the disease on a long-term basis.

Parkinson disease rehabilitation: physical, occupational and speech therapies are essential to counter the complications associated with Parkinson disease and to help patients remain active and functional at work and at home.

Parkinson disease support: problems such as depression and anxiety are experienced by most patients. Individuals with advanced Parkinson disease may also experience memory loss. Counseling services and specialized support groups are available to help patients cope with the emotional challenges of the disease. Our patient care plans include support services to help loved ones deal with the impact of living with someone who has Parkinson disease.

Parkinson Disease Clinical Trials

National research is a fundamental contributor to the overall goal of finding the cause and developing treatments for Parkinson disease, essential tremor and other movement disorders.We have access to grants and other funding for onsite clinical research trials. At any given time, the Aurora Health Care Regional Parkinson Care Center and the Parkinson Research Institute are involved with a number of studies to evaluate the effectiveness of drugs and treatment methods not yet available to the general public.

Our participation in such research offers options and renewed hope for patients who may benefit from medications designed to have fewer side effects or improve the treatment of disease symptoms. Learn more about the promising clinical trials underway at our Parkinson Research Institute.

Parkinson Disease Surgery

While most cases of Parkinson disease can be medically managed, we are using a new and improved surgical technique called subthalamic deep brain stimulation where an electrode is implanted in the brain to provide continuous electrical stimulation to parts of the brain, such as the globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus or thalamus, that control body movement.

Due to Parkinson disease, these areas of the brain may become overactive, causing tremors, involuntary movement and rigidity. The electrical stimulation shuts down these overactive areas to help control movement impulses. As a result, patients may be able to reduce or discontinue their Parkinson disease medications.

The electrode placement is performed under local anesthetic while the patient is conscious. Surgeons can precisely place the electrode by monitoring the patient's tremors. Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), microelectrode recording and stimulation, plus a computer-assisted, stereotactic surgical planning and guidance system help place the electrode.

The electrode is connected to a battery by a wire. The battery is implanted in the chest wall just below the collarbone. The wire is placed under the scalp and neck. Over a period of weeks, the level of stimulation is adjusted for maximum benefit. The battery has to be replaced every few years but requires only a small incision in the chest and is performed on an outpatient basis.

Learn more about Aurora Health Care’s Parkinson treatment and the Aurora Parkinson Research Institute. Call 414-219-7450.

Find a neurological care doctor. Call 888-863-5502.