Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disorder that affects the central nervous system and parts of the body controlled by nerves. As a brain disorder, it is known to deteriorate motor functions and severely impede one’s ability to perform basic daily tasks. Signs of Parkinson’s include tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, difficulty walking, and problems with balance. 

Parkinson’s is among the most common age-related degenerative disorders, and unfortunately, at this time, there is no cure upon diagnosis. However, by recognizing the signs of PD early, a treatment protocol can begin sooner, giving us the greatest chance to improve a patient’s quality of life. Learn about the Parkinson’s Disease solutions we offer at Carolina Brain Center. 

Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Options

Fighting Parkinson’s disease is no easy battle. Treatment of Parkinson’s disease is a team effort and should include both a medical neurologist and a functional neurologist. A medical neurologist will support the system with medication. The process of obtaining the right combination of drug therapy can be straightforward or require some tinkering to come up with the right regimen. 

The goal of drug therapy for Parkinson’s Disease is to give you maximum therapeutic benefit while balancing the side effects. Your medical neurologist will consider disease severity, age, and other medications when considering Parkinson’s Disease therapy. They should also take into account your personal preferences.

A board-certified chiropractic neurologist (aka functional neurologist) works alongside medical drug treatment and focuses on gait and balance training, swallowing and speech training, visual training, and various motor training techniques. A functional neurologist uses receptor-based activation and inhibition through neurologic-specific exercises to improve global central nervous system function. This promotes a higher quality of life, increases motor function, reduces the risk of falls and choking, and maintains intellectual function. 

Computer drawing of a human brain

Parkinson’s Disease Treatment in North Carolina

The Carolina Brain Center provides an authentic approach to slowing down the degenerative process of the sickness. The treatment we use is thorough and efficient, and it can work for you, too! Our treatment of Parkinson’s disease derives from the studies and experience of our owner, Dr. Darcy D. Dane. With 20 plus years of experience, Dr. Dane is a Board Certified Diplomate of Chiropractic Neurology. She devised her treatment method because she understood the needs of those who required an alternative method of combating Parkinson’s.

This means that our approach to treating Parkinson’s Disease is unique! We recognize that no two brains are the same, not all diagnoses of Parkinson’s are the same, and different treatment protocols may be necessary. That’s why we offer functional medicine office visits, chiropractic services, and our specialized Brain Camp. 

Taking a holistic approach to brain care, we encourage our Parkinson’s patients to maintain an active lifestyle and exercise regularly. We provide patients with a week-long program that encourages movement. By the end, you will most likely feel more flexible and in better control of your physical motions. But we don’t stop there – focusing on sustaining and increasing your new-found strength, we will devise a plan to continue performing this physical therapy for your brain. Not to mention, if you can’t complete this program, there are other available options at our facility you can consider.

Carolina Brain Center’s Parkinson’s Disease Solutions

At our Raleigh center, we recognize that not all diagnoses of Parkinson’s are the same, as they may require different treatments. From the one-week program called Brain Camp to chiropractic services to holistic medicinal options, we have you covered, no matter the severity of your illness. To learn more, contact Dr. Dane for further details regarding our multifaceted approaches.

Brain Camp 

We offer a week-long intensive program (Brain Camp) based entirely on the premise of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to make new neuronal connections. This is an important concept in treating diseases that destroy neuronal connections, as seen with Parkinson’s Disease. 

To create neuroplastic changes, neurons require a specific frequency of firing, the intensity of activation, and duration of activation. Further, all of this must happen within a neuron’s metabolic capacity. If neuronal activity exceeds a neuron’s metabolic capacity, transneuronal degeneration is the result. This is why the cookie-cutter approach is not only sometimes ineffective, but it also has the potential to do more harm than good.

Brain Camp looks different for every patient we treat because every person is unique. Brain Camp runs from Monday through Friday, beginning at 10:00 am and ending at 2:00 pm. There are two 30-minute breaks to refuel the system and to rest before the next round of treatment. At the conclusion of the week, diagnostics are performed and compared to prior examination results. Throughout the week, our patients marvel at how fast results come. 

Following Brain Camp, the journey is not over. Patients are sent home with exercises to complete at home daily. The home program helps to continue progress and to slow the degenerative process. Hour-long follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor progress.

Chiropractic Services

Manual therapy, a hands-on experience, can even be performed through chiropractic services. Our specialists help you to heal through 10-to-20-minute visits. Making treatment decisions based on central nervous system findings, these appointments will help your brain to make improved connections with your movements. Through specifically developed plans for our patients, we try to encourage and promote better brain functions to fight Parkinson’s.

Functional Medicine

With functional medicine office visits, we try to create a clean, internal body environment that can lead to healthier brain operations. Our visits can range from 15 minutes to an hour. We even run chemistry panels to evaluate your potential care needs. For instance, if your body is inflamed, alternative medicine can be helpful to alleviate the pain, as your gut barrier and the blood-brain barrier could be compromised.


For patients that have complex cases of Parkinson’s, we understand if you have to visit another center. Based on your needs, we can make a referral for you. We have a team of colleagues all over North Carolina who specialize in different areas, such as immunology, acupuncture, internal medicine, medical neurology, applied kinesiology, and visual development.

Computerized rendering of a nerve cell

Answers about Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease process. The disease results from the malfunction and death of neurons in the brain. Specifically, in PD, the neurons affected are in the substantia nigra (SN) of the basal ganglia (BG). The SN produces dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination.

What are the Signs of Parkinson’s Disease?

Classic signs of PD include shaking, tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, difficulty with walking, and problems with balance. People with PD may begin to show more subtle signs long before an official diagnosis is given. Early symptoms include loss of sense of smell, fatigue, excessive saliva, constipation, visual changes, sleep disturbances, lack of facial expressions (hypomimia), mood disorders (such as depression and anxiety), and orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing up). Dopaminergic medication treatment is helpful.

What is Atypical Parkinson’s Disease?

Atypical Parkinson’s Disease presents many of the same signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but they do not often respond well to drug therapy. Therefore, physical treatments offered by Carolina Brain Center are especially important in helping you achieve and maintain a better quality of life. 

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. PSP is one of the more common forms of atypical PD. PSP has a typically earlier onset (50 years of age) and progresses more rapidly than PD. Signs of PSP include imbalance resulting in falls, trunk rigidity, changes in the voice and in the ability to swallow, which results in choking, and diminished ability to move the eyes vertically (up and down). Dementia is an eventual outcome of this disease process. Some patients may have shrinking of a pontine area of the brainstem, which can be seen on an MRI of the brain. Dopaminergic medication treatment is often tried with little benefit.

Corticobasal Degeneration. CBD is the least common of the atypical causes of Parkinsonism. The initial symptoms of CBD include asymmetric bradykinesia, rigidity, limb dystonia and myoclonus (rapid jerking of a limb), postural instability, and disturbances of language. There is often marked and disabling apraxia of the affected limb, where it becomes difficult or impossible to perform coordinated movements of the affected limb even though there is no weakness or sensory loss. Sometimes this can be so severe that the movements of the affected limb cannot be controlled, and is called the ‘alien limb’ phenomenon. Dopaminergic medication treatment is often tried with no benefit.

Multiple System Atrophy. MSA is a larger term for several disorders in which one or more system in the body deteriorates. Included in the category of MSA are Shy-Drager syndrome (this term is rarely used anymore), Striatonigral degeneration (SND), and OlivoPontoCerebellar Atrophy (OPCA). There are two major subtypes, MSA- P (similar to SND), in which Parkinsonian signs predominate, and MSA-C, a cerebellar dysfunction type that resembles OPCP. Symptoms include bradykinesia, poor balance, abnormal autonomic function, rigidity, difficulty with coordination, or a combination of these features. Initially, it may be difficult to distinguish MSA from PD. However, if you have a more rapid progression, poor response to common PD medications, and development of other symptoms, this may indicate an MSA diagnosis.

Multiple small strokes can cause Vascular Parkinsonism. Gait disturbances are more common than tremors, and symptoms are worse in the lower extremity. Symptoms are likely to be asymmetric. They are usually abrupt in onset and then become static or slow to progress. Dopaminergic medication treatment is not likely to improve motility.

Dementia with Lewy bodies. DLB is a neurodegenerative disorder that results in progressive intellectual and functional deterioration. Patients with DLB usually have early dementia, prominent visual hallucinations, fluctuations in cognitive status over the day, and Parkinsonism. It is not uncommon for patients to present with cognitive problems, particularly language problems known as aphasia. Other cognitive changes in patients with DLB include deficits in attention and executive function and the ability to produce, recognize, draw, or match figures. Dopaminergic medication treatment does not help.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Both genetic and environmental factors are attributed to the cause of PD, but the exact cause is unknown. There is presently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but treatment options include medication therapy, surgery, and several complementary therapies that can help manage symptoms. Appropriate treatment can keep most patients working and enjoying an active life for several years or even decades.

Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease Treatment in Raleigh, NC 

If you or someone you know is looking for effective Parkinson’s Disease treatment options in Raleigh, North Carolina, we are here to help! We are ready to help you manage your Parkinson’s with our Brain Camp and chiropractic and functional medicine services. 

Are you ready to slow your Parkinson’s Disease? Contact the Carolina Brain Center today to make an appointment for Parkinson’s Disease treatment in Raleigh, NC today!

Why Carolina Brain Center?

Dr. Dane brings 20 years of experience to the Triangle and has helped many people achieve a healthier brain and body.


Ready For A Consultation?

Dr Dane is ready to talk when you are. We’ll need some information from you to get the process started!