What Is Parkinson's Disease?

Northwestern Medicine treats Parkinson's Disease.Parkinson's disease is a progressive degenerative disorder that affects nerve cells, or neurons, in the part of the brain that controls movement. In Parkinson's disease, a certain group of nerve cells in the brain that produce the chemical dopamine degenerate.

The lack of dopamine causes the primary symptoms of Parkinson's disease—tremor, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness and balance problems.

More than one million (and perhaps as many as 1.5 million) people in the United States have Parkinson's disease. Here are some facts about Parkinson’s disease:

  • It affects 1 in 100 Americans over the age of 60.
  • The average age of onset is 65.
  • As many as 5 to 10 percent of people are diagnosed prior to age 40 with young-onset Parkinson's.
  • It affects slightly more men than women.
  • Early symptoms are subtle, and people may think their symptoms are "normal aging".

Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center 
Lavin Family Pavilion 
259 East Erie Street, Floor 19 
Chicago, Illinois 60611 
Main Number: 312.695.7950
Fax: 312.695.5747


Our clinics meet every other Friday. To make an appointment, or if you have any questions about our clinic, please contact our nurse coordinator at 312.695.7950.

The Rehabilitative Services Parkinson's Clinic at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital

The Rehabilitative Services Parkinson’s Clinic at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital is a team of therapists with a concentration of practice in Parkinson’s disease:

  • Individually designed exercise programs
  • Balance and movement pattern programs
  • LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD programs
  • Balance based torso vest to improve balance

Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Disease Center

Your movement matters—at home, at work, even while doing the common tasks that everyone can take for granted. If you have a movement disorder, you deserve a level of care that can get you back to doing the things you love, with confidence and peace of mind.

The Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Disease Center uses an interdisciplinary team approach to provide individualized care that optimizes your treatment, outcomes and experience. Your care is provided by a focused and experienced team that includes specially trained neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurses, counselors and rehabilitative specialists who offer advanced treatment options and access to support and resources.

For more information or to make an appointment, please contact us at 630.933.4056.

Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy Programs for Parkinson's Disease at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, part of Northwestern Medicine

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital offers inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Our inpatient neuromuscular program provides specialized care for adults with Parkinson’s disease in a supportive, compassionate environment. Physicians work closely with a multidisciplinary team to create comprehensive, individualized treatment plans. Your plan will focus on your specific needs and goals, helping you work toward regaining lost function, mobility and independence.

If you are interested and it is clinically appropriate for you, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital offers specialized outpatient treatments that use Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) LOUD® and LSVT BIG®. Our certified therapists are trained in these techniques. Therapy focuses on improving patient safety, gait performance, balance, and in some cases, vocalization of speech.

To learn more, please call 630.909.7150, TTY 711, or visit marianjoy.org.