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.