Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system caused by the decay of dopamine-producing brain cells. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include trembling hands, lack of facial expression and character in speech, as well as slower and more uncoordinated walking.


We use several technologies to diagnose Parkinson’s disease, including:

  • Ambulatory / Video Electroencephalography – Ambulatory/video electroencephalography helps in the diagnosis of a variety of neurological problems, from common headaches and dizziness to seizure disorders, strokes and degenerative brain disease.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) – Computerized tomography (CT) scans take detailed cross-sectional images of the body that are used to identify specific neurological conditions.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – During magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the body is exposed to electromagnetic radiation that can detect, process and convert images of the body’s soft tissue, such as the brain or spinal cord, into computer images.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning allows doctors to see how an organ functions, rather than simply its structure. This breakthrough technology is particularly useful in diagnosing some neurological disorders.


Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Trials

The Neurosciences Institute offers patients the opportunity to help doctors find answers to neurological illness by participating in clinical drug and surgery research trials.

Rehabilitation Services

Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation services include:

Hand Therapy

Hand therapy offers specialized treatment to patients who have lost range of motion, strength or endurance in their hands or arms due to illness or trauma.


Various treatments are available to women who suffer from urinary or fecal incontinence.

Neuropsychology Services

As the only provider in the region with both a neuropsychologist and a behavioral psychologist on staff, Saint Francis Medical Center provides expert care for patients suffering from emotional/cognitive problems due to bodily injury. Inpatient rehabilitation staff helps patients develop coping skills, establish appropriate expectations and modify their lifestyle in accordance with any physical limitations to maintain a positive outlook on life.

Nutritional Services

After an initial assessment, patients are provided with an individualized nutrition plan to follow during their stay and are checked on a weekly basis by Saint Francis Medical Center’s dietitians and aides. At discharge, patients may receive additional feedback on future nutritional concerns.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists and assistants at Saint Francis Medical Center are focused on increasing independence and improving quality of life. This involves developing individualized treatment programs for patients to help them reach goals in regard to the social, emotional and physiological effects of illnesses and injuries, including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dementia. Caregivers also assist patients in restoring daily living activities, such as self-care, work and leisure.

Physical Therapy

Through the use of exercises and applications that promote and restore normal function and development, physical therapists and assistants at Saint Francis Medical Center help patients overcome injuries and other physically debilitating conditions.

Recreational Therapy

Saint Francis Medical Center’s recreational therapy caregivers work with patients to improve skills and provide information needed to ensure successful adjustment into their home or community environment.

Social Work

Social workers at Saint Francis Medical Center meet with the family members of patients to counsel them in regard to lifestyle changes and connect them to community resources to meet patients’ needs.

Speech Therapy

Saint Francis Medical Center provides speech evaluations and assessments of language and swallowing, as well as all areas of speech pathology. After an initial assessment is completed, a plan of care is established with input from the patient’s family.