Objective: To define key issues in the management of Parkinson disease (PD) relating to neuroprotective strategies and alternative treatments, and to make evidence-based treatment recommendations.
Methods: Two clinical questions were identified. 1) In a patient diagnosed with PD, are there any therapies that can slow disease progression? 2) Are there any nonstandard pharmacologic or nonpharmacologic therapies that have been shown to improve motor function in PD? Articles were classified according to a four-tiered level of evidence scheme. Recommendations were based on the evidence.
Results and conclusions: 1. Levodopa does not appear to accelerate disease progression. 2. No treatment has been shown to be neuroprotective. 3. There is no evidence that vitamin or food additives can improve motor function in PD. 4. Exercise may be helpful in improving motor function. 5. Speech therapy may be helpful in improving speech volume. 6. No manual therapy has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of motor symptoms, although studies in this area are limited. Further studies using a rigorous scientific method are needed to determine efficacy of alternative therapies.