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Parkinson’s Disease


What is Parkinson’s disease? Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that affects the body’s ability to move normally. It occurs when cells are destroyed in certain parts of the brain stem. It usually causes tremors, rigid muscles and balance problems, and it is progressive — meaning it gets worse over time.


Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may include:

  • Changes in handwriting (small, cramped handwriting can be an early sign)
  • Changes in walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Rigid muscles and limbs
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Stooped posture


First, you’ll meet with your doctor for a physical exam. You’ll talk about your symptoms and your doctor may order tests to rule out other conditions.

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Treatment Options

If you have Parkinson’s disease, your Aurora team of neurologists will work with you to develop a treatment plan for the best possible quality of life.

Treatment may include:

  • Medication
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS), which combats tremors and muscle rigidity. In DBS, surgeons implant a hair-thin electrode in the brain to help control body movements.

If your health keeps you at home, Aurora Health at Home has skilled nurses and therapists who can provide education and support wherever you live.


Vaccine Update

We’re vaccinating anyone in Illinois and Wisconsin who’s 16 and older – whether you’re our patient or not – with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. We’ve paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. See why.

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