Parkinson’s 101: A Video for the Newly Diagnosed

Dr. Cherian Karunapuzha - Davis Phinney Foundation

If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you may be feeling overwhelmed, devastated, angry, confused or all of the above. We receive emails from people every day who have just heard the words, “You have Parkinson’s.” They want to know what to expect, what to do and if it really is possible to live well with Parkinson’s.

To answer some of these questions, we interviewed Dr. Cherian Karunapuzha, a Movement Disorder Specialist at the Meinders Center for Movement in Oklahoma City. One of our community members told us this is the best description of Parkinson's she's ever heard. We hope you'll find it useful on your path as well.


1:13 - Who are you, what is your clinic like and how did you get into this work with people with Parkinson’s?
4:17 - How do people “get” Parkinson’s? How does it begin?
9:32 - What is Carbidopa/Levodopa and what does it do? What are the downsides to taking it?
18:00 - Why do people experience so many ON and OFF times throughout the day?
29:45 - What is the best plan for timing medications and eating?
30:50 - What can people do to help alleviate some of their motor and non-motor symptoms?
33:45 - What are some of the most common non-motor symptoms? Will they get worse with time? Are there medications that treat them
43:10 - Why is it important for people with Parkinson's to seek out additional therapies even if they’ve just received a diagnosis?
48:45 - What do you recommend for people whose only doctor is a general practitioner or primary care/family doctor?

Additional Resources

Dr. Karunapuzha mentioned a lot of terms and symptoms in this video. If you'd like to dig a bit deeper into some of them, here are a few resources to get started.

What is Aspiration?
How Do You Prevent Aspiration Pneumonia?
Living with Parkinson's: What is OFF?
A Primer on Sleep and Parkinson's
Can You Identify Your Depression Triggers?
Living Well with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)

Much more information can also be found in the Every Victory Counts® manual. It’s filled with up-to-date information about everything Parkinson’s, plus it includes over 30 checklists and worksheets to help you put what you’ve learned into action.

Request your complimentary copy of the new Every Victory Counts manual at

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Comments (3)

Thank you for this video. Before and since my diagnosis with PD last year I’ve read several books on the subject and a watched and read lot on the internet. This has been the most clear and comprehensive introduction I’ve seen. It’s very encouraging to know we can take positive action to cope with having PD, and we still have agency. Inspirational.

Peter – We’re so glad you watched it and found it useful. Like you, we’ve done a lot of reading and researching in this field, and we all learned so much from Dr. K. He has such a brilliant and accessible way of describing Parkinson’s. Here’s to living well in 2020.

Wish I had seen this video 3 years ago – I have waited to get medicine , and now I hear its wrong 🙁 – very good video

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