Parkinson's Disease

Spectrum Health has adopted a comprehensive care model to provide medical care for persons with Parkinson’s disease by employing a multidisciplinary team approach. No two persons with Parkinson’s disease experience the symptoms in exactly the same way and hence the treatment plan should be customized to fit the person’s needs and preferences.

Parkinson's Disease Multidisciplinary Team

The ease of the evaluation is something that is highly valued by our patients. An evaluation is typically four hours. You remain in one room and the specialists come to you. You can expect to meet our team of highly specialized professionals that includes a fellowship trained Parkinson’s specialist, pharmacist, speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist and social worker. 

By the end of your visit, you'll have a customized treatment plan based on your individual needs. The multidisciplinary clinic takes a patient-centric design offering an exceptional value and service for the Parkinson’s community. The entire visit is streamlined and is supervised by a nurse navigator. Please note that you have to be an established Spectrum Health patient before participating in the Parkinson's Disease Clinic. 

Treating Parkinson's Disease

From research to recovery, we're here to work with you. Each patient experiences symptoms differently and responds to treatments differently. We'll create your treatment plan specific to you. Treatment options include:

Our Parkinson’s experts will work with you to individualize your Parkinson’s medication regimen to improve both your motor (tremor, stiffness, slowness) and non-motor symptoms (depression, anxiety, insomnia and constipation, etc). Sometimes medications are not immediately necessary. Our goal is to use them to improve quality of life.

Exercise is an important part of any comprehensive treatment plan for Parkinson’s. Our Parkinson’s experts and therapists will help you find an exercise regimen that is appropriate for you.

Big and Loud Program  
Our therapist at Spectrum Health movement disorders program is Lee Silverman, Voice Treatment certified (LSVT-certified). We offer LSVT Big and LSVT loud therapy programs and therapy services at multiple locations in West Michigan. Spectrum Health also coordinates with therapists at non-spectrum locations to bring therapy options closer to your home. 

DUOPA (Levodopa Intestinal Infusion Therapy)
Spectrum Health movement disorders program offers DUOPA, another powerful treatment option for persons with Parkinson’s disease. Partnered with interventional radiologists, Spectrum health offers patient selection, surgical placements and programming as part of the Levodopa intestinal infusion therapy. For more information, please contact our DUOPA program coordinator at 616.267.7651.

Botox is not only used for cosmetic purposes. It can be helpful for the treatment of drooling and dystonia, such as toe and ankle curling, that are sometimes associated with Parkinson’s. Your neurologist will help you decide if this is a treatment from which you would benefit.

Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical device that sends electrical signals to the areas of the brain. It may help reduce your symptoms.

Free Online Resources for Home Exercise

Parkinson's Disease Support Group

The Spectrum Health Parkinson’s support group was organized to offer patients and the caregivers an opportunity to share their experiences, ask questions and further their knowledge of the disease in a relaxed environment. Each support group is set up with a speaker for educational opportunities in the beginning and time for questions and discussion after. The forum of the group is casual and is designed to adapt toward the topics and needs most relevant to those who attend.

Due to COVID-19 support groups are being held virtually. If you are interested in joining, want to know more about the speakers and topics, or want to be added to the email communication list, call our nurse navigator at 616.447.1393.

Previous Support Group Sessions

March 2020
Kerri Vryhof, MDiv., OTR
Occupational Therapy and Everyday Life with Parkinson's Disease

April 2020
Yolanda Shafer PT, MSPT
Physical Therapy and Every Day Life with Parkinson’s Disease

May 2020 
Lea Norbotten, MA, CCC-SLP
Communication Changes and Challenges to Consistent Home Exercise Program Completion

June 2020
Amy Hooyer, CPT, Rock Steady Boxing of West Michigan 
Trish Harrison, MA, CPT & GFI AFAA, YMCA Association Director of Group Exercise

July 2020
Rusha Ali, MD, Director of Restorative & Functional Neurosurgery, Spectrum Health
Surgical Aspects of Parkinson’s Disease