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

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 Que 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. 
En español: Enfermidad de Parkinson Guía Informativa

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.

Parkinson's Disease and Its Causes

Published by Medical News Today, October 26, 2018

This webpage provides an overview of what Parkinson's disease is, the early signs and importance of seeking treatment, causes and risk factors, prevention, and a hopeful takeaway.

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

By the University of Florida Health Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, August 1, 2014

This 33-minute video (part of a symposium) begins with motor symptoms followed by non-motor symptoms. Topics include pharmacological treatment, surgical (DBS) treatment, and adjunct treatments. 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. 

Parkinson's Motor Symptoms Co-Management: Occupational Therapy and Neurology

By the Parkinson's Foundation, February 9, 2021

In this 1-hour webinar a neurologist and occupational therapist discuss treatment of the four cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability, with in-practice comments by a person with Parkinson's.

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.]

Last updated August 2022 by Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach.