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Diagnosis and Treatment

Back to Parkinson's Disease Center homepage 

Parkinson's disease (PD) affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans, men and women of all ages and races. It is a slowly progressive movement disorder that occurs when a significant number of certain nerve cells in the brain become damaged or die.


The four major motor symptoms of PD are:

  • Shaking (tremors)
  • Muscle stiffness (rigidity)
  • Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
  • Gait and balance difficulty (postural instability)

The condition affects each person differently. Some patients may also experience non-motor symptoms including:

  • Changes in memory
  • Changes in mood
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Blood pressure disturbances 
  • Bladder disturbances
  • Bowel disturbance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Voice difficulties
  • Swallowing difficulties

Treatments and Programs

The Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center offers a multidisciplinary program for the evaluation and treatment of patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, parkinsonian syndromes, tremors, gait disorders, dystonia, spasticity, dyskinesias, tic disorders, chorea and drug-induced movement disorders.

Parkinson's Disease

We offer you and your family highly innovative, intensive and comprehensive care for Parkinson's disease. Your neurologist is a fellowship-trained Parkinson's Disease specialist who coordinates a multidisciplinary team of experts to meet the physical, cognitive, and emotional needs of you and your family.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is an approved treatment for patients with tremor, dystonia and Parkinson's disease when medications are no longer adequate. DBS uses a surgically implanted device called a neurostimulator-similar to a heart pacemaker-to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement.

Wellness Programs

We offer wellness programs to help you stay well along with information for patient and caregiver support.

Botulinum toxin clinic

Our center offers a subspecialized botulinum toxin clinic for movement disorders such as spasmodic torticollis (or cervical dystonia), dystonia related to Parkinson's disease, blepharospasm, or hemifacial spasm.

Sleep Disorders Consultation Service

Sleep disorders are very common in PD patients and require specialized evaluation and treatment. The Sleep Disorders Clinic provides consultation, laboratory evaluation and ongoing management of sleep disorders for our patients with PD.

Research and Clinical Trials

Medical advances in the diagnosis and treatment of PD offer hope to patients and families while also guiding the treatment plans developed by our team of PD specialists. That's why we actively participate in multi-center clinical trials evaluating new treatments for PD.

Autonomic Laboratory

Patients with PD and other forms of parkinsonism often have problems with their blood pressure and bladder and bowel function. The Autonomic Laboratory and consultation service at BIDMC provides a highly sophisticated research and treatment program for our patients with these disorders.

Contact Information

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Department of Neurology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, Boston MA 02215
Information: 617-667-9885
Appointments: 617-667-0519