Multidisciplinary care for people with Parkinson's disease: the new kids on the block!

Expert Rev Neurother. 2019 Feb;19(2):145-157. doi: 10.1080/14737175.2019.1561285. Epub 2019 Jan 9.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic multisystem disorder that causes a wide variety of motor and non-motor symptoms. Over time, the progressive nature of the disease increases the risk of complications such as falls and loss of independence, having a profound impact on quality of life. The complexity and heterogeneity of symptoms therefore warrant a holistic, multidisciplinary approach. Specific healthcare professionals, e.g. the movement disorders neurologist and the PD nurse specialist, are considered essential members of this multidisciplinary team. However, with our increasing knowledge about different aspects of the disease, other disciplines are also being recognized as important contributors to the healthcare team. Areas covered: The authors describe a selection of these relatively newly-recognized disciplines, including the specialist in vascular medicine, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, neuro-ophthalmologist, urologist, geriatrician/elderly care physician, palliative care specialist and the dentist. Furthermore, they share the view of a person with PD on how patients and caregivers should be involved in the multidisciplinary team. Finally, they have included a perspective on the new role of the movement disorder neurologist, with care delivery via 'tele-neurology'. Expert commentary: Increased awareness about the potential role of these 'new' professionals will further improve disease management and quality of life of PD patients.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; multidisciplinary care; non-motor symptoms; professional disciplines; self-management; tele-neurology; telemedicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Patient Care Team*