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Parkinson’s Disease

Appointments

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First called “the shaking palsy,” Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a movement disorder that slowly worsens and is characterized by the loss of cells that produce the brain chemical dopamine. The cause is still unclear. There are about 1.2 million people who suffer from PD in the United States. The neurological disease affects approximately one in 100 people over the age of 60, and is more common in men than women.


The average age of diagnosis is 61 years old; however, 5 to 10 percent of cases are diagnosed before the age of 50. When this happens, it is referred to as young onset or early onset Parkinson’s disease.


One of our qualified specialists will base their diagnosis on your symptoms, a comprehensive medical and family history and your response to medications.

Why Choose UHealth?

One of only 41 Centers of Excellence designated by the National Parkinson’s Foundation. When you are seen by our team of experts, you are receiving treatment from leaders in Parkinson’s care. Our neurologists are considered experts by their peers and have special training in movement disorders and PD.

Treatment tailored specifically to you. Our health care professionals will help you develop and follow a healthy eating plan and remain – or get – physically active. You may need insulin if your nutrition plan and physical activity fail to keep your blood glucose in your target range.

Personalized care in one location. Every person who has Parkinson’s disease is different. Once diagnosed, your neurologist will discuss a treatment plan with you that is aimed at minimizing your symptoms. Our team includes neurologists, physical therapists, and other professionals who work together to decrease the symptoms and increase your quality of life.

Holistic, intersectional support: In addition to standard treatments and exclusive clinical trials, our one-of- a-kind program provides our UHealth PD patients and their families with: 

  • Monthly support groups
  • Tai Chi classes
  • Caregiver support groups
  • Post-surgery Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) support groups
  • Social worker services
  • Multiple educational symposiums, conferences and events on PD
     

FDA approved state-of-the-art Deep Brain Stimulator System: The Deep Brain Stimulation program at the University of Miami Health System was started over 14 years ago and is run by a team of experts who specialize in treating neurodegenerative disorders, including benign essential tremor, PD and dystonia, a disorder of the muscles. The team uses the latest operative technology, microelectrode recordings and highest resolution imaging to insure consistent and accurate lead placement.

A direct link to medical advances.  As part of the University of Miami, our researchers and specialists are constantly working to find better treatment options and a cure for PD. Because of this, you have access to clinical trials and cutting-edge care.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Medication

    Oral medications can help your brain produce more dopamine, thereby lessening the severity of symptoms associated with PD. In addition, weekly botulism injections (or Botox®) can help with dystonia (muscle contractions) and sialorrhea (drooling).

  • Multidisciplinary Therapy

    A monthly multidisciplinary clinic provides comprehensive care that includes physical, occupational, speech and swallowing therapies as well as social and psychological services.

  • Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery involves placement of a wire electrode into the brain. This electrode is connected to a stimulator that is similar to a heart pacemaker. Patients with this implant can interrupt brain signals that cause tremors by switching on the stimulator with a handheld control. The experienced neurosurgeons at UHealth have performed more than 600 of these procedures.

  • Clinical Trials

    You can participate in PD clinical trials only available at UHealth.


Tests


Experience matters. The UHealth Neurology Department has been recognized as one of the best for over a decade.


There is no definitive blood test or X-ray to confirm a PD diagnosis, so you have to rely on the expertise and clinical judgment of your healthcare provider, after a thorough neurological examination.


One of our qualified specialists will base their diagnosis on your symptoms, a comprehensive medical and family history and your response to medications. The physician will likely also order an MRI and blood work to help rule out other conditions that produce similar symptoms such as stroke or a brain tumor.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care