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Neurological Disorders

5 Steps for Those Newly Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease

John Lehr

President and CEO, Parkinson’s Foundation

As you begin your journey with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to know you are not alone.

If you or a loved one are newly diagnosed, these five steps can help you begin to live well with Parkinson’s:

1. Determine your personal goals and priorities

As you begin to build your life after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, setting clear personal goals, then acting on them, can help you live well.

2. Find someone you can talk to and stay connected

Interpersonal connections are vital to living well with Parkinson’s. Find someone to talk to, and be open and honest about your experience. Caring for your emotional health is as important as addressing your physical symptoms.

3. Create healthy habits

A healthy diet and ample self-care are key to living well with Parkinson’s disease. Good nutrition can improve medication delivery, and plenty of rest improves mood.

4. Be active in whatever way works best for you

Research shows exercise helps people with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms. Find an exercise program that you love and talk with your doctor to make sure the exercises are safe for you.

5. Find a doctor who is an expert in Parkinson’s disease

Seeking treatment from a neurologist, or, when possible, a movement disorder specialist — a neurologist with additional training to treat people with Parkinson’s at every stage of the disease — is a key addition to a quality care team.

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease. That’s why we recently launched “Newly Diagnosed: Building a Better Life with Parkinson’s” to help people with Parkinson’s throughout every step of their journey. More resources and information, including a “Newly Diagnosed” kit, can be found at

Learn more about the resources and support that the Parkinson’s Foundation offers at or contact the free Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or [email protected] to find expert care in your area, answers to your questions, nearby resources, and more.

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