Parkinson's Disease Center
People with Parkinson's disease receive extraordinary care at Cedars-Sinai. We provide therapies from some of the nation's leading Parkinson's experts and a broad range of treatments. Our offerings ease stubborn symptoms and lessen their impact on your daily life. We are also the first in Southern California to offer a multidisciplinary clinic that allows patients to meet with all of their care team members on the same day and in the same place.
What Is Parkinson's Disease?
Parkinson's disease is one of the most common movement disorders. It occurs when the brain doesn't produce enough dopamine, a chemical that supports smooth, controlled muscle movement. This condition typically affects older adults but can also occur in people in their 30s or 40s.
With Parkinson's, you may experience movement that:
- Feels out of your control, such as trembling (tremors) when you are trying to be still
- Becomes increasingly difficult, including slower, unsteady activity throughout your body
Parkinson's Disease Treatment at Cedars-Sinai: Why Choose Us?
Cedars-Sinai delivers specialized Parkinson's care, reflecting the latest research and our decades of experience. You receive an accurate diagnosis along with the personalized service you deserve. We offer the best available Parkinson's treatments, giving you more care options. Our team provides long-term care, so you get the right treatment even as your needs change.
Highlights of our program include:
Cedars-Sinai is home to world-renowned neurologists and neurosurgeons who specialize in Parkinson's. All members of our team completed additional (fellowship) training in movement disorders. We offer an exceptional level of care, including effective therapies for difficult-to-treat Parkinson's. Meet our expert team.
If medications are not working, you may benefit from deep brain stimulation, a surgical procedure. Our experts are nationally renowned for using this treatment to help patients achieve better symptom control. Learn more about deep brain stimulation.
We are advancing Parkinson's disease care through research. Our experts have been exploring potential causes of Parkinson's in the hopes of finding a cure. We are also evaluating new care methods through clinical trials. Find out more about neurology and neurosurgery clinical trials.
Our extended team includes speech and swallow therapists, physical therapists, nutritionists and other Parkinson's specialists. We work alongside Cedars-Sinai movement disorder experts to anticipate your needs, so you receive timely services.
Accurate Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis
Parkinson's is challenging to diagnose because symptoms, such as difficulty walking, can be a sign of other movement disorders. Some people have parkinsonism. This group of diseases causes Parkinson's-like symptoms that do not respond to Parkinson's treatments.
At Cedars-Sinai, we consider your health history and perform a nervous system exam before confirming a Parkinson's diagnosis. Our years of experience enable us to detect subtle symptoms that do not show up on other tests.
Tests may include:
Testing your response to a Parkinson's drug, levodopa, allows us to rule out some other movement disorders. Levodopa boosts dopamine levels and is not an effective treatment for other movement disorders. If your symptoms improve with levodopa, you likely have Parkinson's.
We may use this noninvasive imaging test to help rule out Parkinsonian syndrome. This group of disorders causes movement problems similar to Parkinson's but might not stem from the disease. Learn more about DaTscan.
Parkinson's Treatments We Offer
There is no cure for Parkinson's, but treatment at Cedars-Sinai can loosen the grip that symptoms have on your life. Parkinson's is a progressive illness, meaning your needs change over time. We are here for you with a broad range of options and personalized recommendations.
Therapies that are best for you depend on your symptoms and how long Parkinson's has been part of your life.
Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease
Treatments for early-stage Parkinson's include:
- Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as levodopa, to increase dopamine levels
- Medications to manage side effects, including anti-nausea drugs
- Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise
Advanced Parkinson's Disease
When Parkinson's becomes advanced, you may have difficulty completing tasks in daily living, such as moving, eating and even breathing. Many people experience emotional challenges as well, such as depression and anxiety.
The longer you live with Parkinson's, the less effective the medications may be in quieting your symptoms. You may also experience side effects, such as dizziness and dystonia.
We may recommend other treatments, including:
- Combined medication therapies, which include multiple drugs to relieve worsening symptoms
- Deep brain stimulation, an implantable device that activates parts of the brain controlling movement
- Botox® injections to reduce involuntary muscle movements
You will not face this alone. The Cedars-Sinai team is here to provide support and care. We coordinate services to help you stay safe and comfortable, including assistance using a wheelchair and pain management. Our offerings also include help for you and your loved ones. Find out more about supportive care medicine.
Have Questions or Need Help?
To make an appointment or refer a patient, call the Parkinson's Disease Center. You can also have us call you back at your convenience.