APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

PD 101 - Overview of PD

These resources offer an overview of Parkinson's disease.

If you, or someone you know, has been recently diagnosed, you may want to view the resources on our Newly Diagnosed page.

Best Publications - Downloadable

"Parkinson's Disease Handbook"
Published by American Parkinson Disease Association, 2010
This 44-page booklet reviews the symptoms, cause, and treatment of PD. There's also a section on social issues and patient support as well as a glossary of key terms.

"Secrets, Myths, and Misconceptions," by Melissa Nirenberg, MD, PhD
Published by Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 2014. List first presented at PDF Expert Briefing, 2009
In this two-page fact sheet, a neurologist reviews the many pervasive myths and misconceptions about PD and its treatment.

Best Online Information

“Parkinson’s”
Published by Parkinson’s South Australia
This webpage is a good overview of who gets Parkinson’s disease, and quick descriptions about common motor symptoms, postural instability, speech, voice, swallowing, memory and concentration, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, bowel and bladder, restless legs, and fatigue.  Most topics have links to information sheets with more detailed information.

“Parkinson’s Disease: An Overview”
Published by the Cleveland Clinic, October 2014
This webpage describes the pathology of Parkinson’s disease in the brain, who gets PD, how it is diagnosed, motor and non-motor symptoms, medical and surgical treatment options, clinical trial participation, and a positive outlook due to recent pharmacologic advances and research findings.

“Understanding Parkinson’s”
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation
This webpage offers an index of Parkinson’s disease topics, including an overview, “What is Parkinson’s?”, motor symptoms, non-motor symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, newly diagnosed, living well, caregiving, and ten early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease.

“What is Parkinson’s Disease?”
Published by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
This short webpage describes the pathology of Parkinson’s disease in the brain, the primary motor symptoms, and affected areas of the brain that cause non-motor symptoms.  Links in the left margin of the page take readers to webpages on diagnosis, symptoms, causes, progression, medications, treatments, clinical trials, statistics, and research.

Best Online Lectures and Webinars

“Basics of Parkinson’s Disease - 2014 UF Health Parkinson Symposium”
By the University of Florida Health Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, August 1, 2014
This 33-minute video begins with motor symptoms followed by non-motor symptoms. Pharmacological treatment is explained in some depth. Surgical (DBS) and adjunct treatments are addressed. Five myths are debunked.  

“A Dancer’s Perspective on Movement & Parkinson’s"
By Stanford University School of Medicine, Continuing Studies
This 2-hour lecture by Stanford movement disorder specialist, Helen Bronte-Stewart, provides an overview of the neuro-motor functioning of the human body and how Parkinson’s disease develops, before explaining the evaluation process for deep brain stimulation, the surgical process, what to expect during post surgery/recovery, and programming of the device.

“Dr. Stanley Fahn - Myths and Mistakes in PD Treatment - Parkinson Symposium 2016”
By the University of Florida Health Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, May 31, 2016
In this 59-minute video, movement disorder specialist Dr. Stanley Fahn addresses several myths about medications and a few non-motor symptoms.

"Parkinson’s Disease: A Dose of Hope"
By University of California Television, January 24, 2011
This 28-minute video features UCSF neurologists, neuropsychologist, and UCSF PD patients discussing symptoms, diagnosis, causes, treatment, exercise, and support.

“Parkinson’s Disease Overview”
By the Mayo Clinic, September 10, 2013
This 7-minute video describes motor and non-motor symptoms, and their treatment.

Last updated by Denise Dagan, Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach, February 2017.

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