Key Facts

  • PD is best managed through a multidisciplinary team that may include the medical team, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, and social worker.
  • There are evidence-based best-practices for PD in each of these fields and it is best to identify therapists with experience with PD.
  • A movement disorders neurologist or general neurologist is an important resource.


Clinical Best Practices

  • Identify therapists in your comunity with experience with PD.
  • Special training for PD includes LSVT-BIG for physical therapists and LSVT-Loud for speech therapists.

There are certain conditions where a referral to a different specialist must be considered.

Consider an expert opinion in the following cases:


...then refer to

Uncertain of diagnosis

Neurologist/movement disorder specialist

PD diagnosed but not seen by neurologist

Neurologist/movement disorder specialist

Not evaluated by allied health provider in past year

Physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist and/or nutritionist

Anxiety or depression< present

Psychologist or social worker

Changes in skin present


Considering genetic testing<

Genetic counselor

Urinary< or sexual dysfunction< occurs


Still in workforce

Social worker

Signs of cognitive change< appear

Neuropsychiatrist or social worker

Considering disability

Social worker

Sleep problems< exist

Sleep disorders specialist

Note: If you are the treating physician but you are not a neurologist, you should always try to arrange for a neurologist, preferably a movement disorder specialist, to see your patient at least once a year.