Overview of PD

These resources offer an overview of Parkinson's disease (PD), including information about the pathology, commonly experienced motor and non-motor symptoms, how to assemble your healthcare team, pharmacological and surgical treatment options, your emotional and physical health, and more.  A list of symptom trackers is included at the bottom of this page.

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


Downloadable Documents | Online Articles | Podcasts & Webinars | Symptom Trackers


Downloadable Documents (PDF)

Parkinson’s Disease: What You and Your Family Should Know

Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson's Foundation), 2006

This 40-page manual (PDF) offers a basic overview of Parkinson’s disease.  Topics include symptoms, diagnosis, parkinsonism, treatment options, putting your health team together, accepting and adapting to Parkinson’s disease, and staying well.  It also contains a section on the special concerns of persons with young onset Parkinson’s disease.

Available En Español: Enfermedad de Parkinson: Lo Qu Usted y Su Familia Deben Saber
Available in Chinese


Parkinson's Disease Handbook

Published by American Parkinson Disease Association, 2019

This 43-page booklet (PDF) 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. 


Online Articles

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 (Now the Parkinson's 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.


Podcasts & 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, July 15, 2010

This 2-hour lecture by Stanford movement disorder specialist Helen Bronte-Stewart, MD, 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. 


Spotlight on Movement Function: Coping With On/Off Periods

By the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA), May 11, 2017

In this 51-minute webcast by professor of neurology, Dr. Lisa M. Shulman goes into great detail about why, achieving a smooth, robust medication response is challenging, and how to document on/off periods to communicate effectively with your doctor to get the best medication management.


Women and Parkinson’s

By the Davis Phinney Foundation, August 7, 2019

In this 1-hour webinar Dr. Michelle Fullard discusses how women and men diagnosed with Parkinson’s experience differences when it comes to symptom presentation, sleep problems, cognitive impact, responses to surgery, medication side effects, emotional health, the care partner experience, and more.  [Registration is required, but is free.]


Symptom Trackers

APDA Healthcare Communication Graph

By the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA)

This online self evaluation tool of motor and non-motor symptoms allows you to identify changes in symptoms over time.  Print or email and share results with your healthcare team to make appointments more focused and productive. 


APDA Symptom Tracker

By the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA)

This mobile device app self evaluation tool of motor and non-motor symptoms allows you to identify changes in symptoms over time.  Print or email and share results with your healthcare team to make appointments more focused and productive.  Download to your device from Google Play or the App Store.


Parkinson’s Symptoms Diary Worksheet

Published by the Parkinson’s Foundation

This printable 6-page PDF allows you to track medication, meal and sleep times for 24 hours with additional pages to track three symptoms per page throughout the day.


Parkinson’s Well-Being Map

By UCB S.A., Belgium

This online self evaluation tool of motor and non-motor symptoms allows you to identify changes in symptoms over time and prepare for doctors appointments.  If a symptom is not pre-printed, you can enter your own symptoms in eight symptom categories.  Save each map to compare over time.  Fill out a questionnaire to prepare for your next doctor appointment.
Also available as a printable PDF.


Symptom Checklists

Published by the Davis Phinney Foundation

This webpage offers several printable worksheets for wellness and lifestyle self-assessments, including 15 symptoms checklists ranging from comprehensive (My Symptoms Worksheet) to specific (bladder, cognition, constipation, dental, dyskinesia/off time log, anxiety, depression, fatigue, gait/balance/freezing, insomnia/sleep, low blood pressure/dizziness, speech/communication, swallowing, and sexual dysfunction).  Also available are worksheets to prepare for appointments, hospitalizations, medical procedures (including DBS), and healthcare team contacts.



Last updated August 2020 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach.