Review Article

CNS Drugs

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 817-835

First online:

Potential Influences of Complementary Therapy on Motor and Non-Motor Complications in Parkinson’s Disease

  • Theresa A. ZesiewiczAffiliated withParkinson Research Foundation, Department of Neurology, University of South Florida Email author 
  • , Marian L. EvattAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine

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Nearly two-thirds of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) use vitamins or nutritional supplements, and many more may use other complementary therapies, yet <50% of patients have discussed the use of these complementary therapies with a healthcare professional. Physicians should be aware of the complementary therapies their patients with PD are using, and the possible effects of these therapies on motor and non-motor symptoms.

Complementary therapies, such as altered diet, dietary supplements, vitamin therapy, herbal supplements, caffeine, nicotine, exercise, physical therapy, massage therapy, melatonin, bright-light therapy and acupuncture, may all influence the symptoms of PD and/or the effectiveness of dopaminergic therapy. Preliminary evidence suggests complementary therapy also may influence non-motor symptoms of PD, such as respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, mood disorders, sleep and orthostatic hypotension. Whenever possible, clinicians should ensure that complementary therapy is used appropriately in PD patients without reducing the benefits of dopaminergic therapy.