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Ask the MD: 'Off' Time in Parkinson's Disease

Motor fluctuations are "off" times, when medication — namely levodopa (the "gold standard" treatment for Parkinson's) — is not working optimally and Parkinson's symptoms (motor and/or non-motor) return. "Off" periods are more common as the disease progresses and people take medication for a longer period of time.

Management options include dietary and medication adjustments and, for some, surgical therapy (such as deep brain stimulation). Additional therapies that may help avoid "off" periods or quickly alleviate them may be available within the next few years; several are in the later stages of the development pipeline. Treatment regimens are, however, unique to each individual and must be decided upon after careful consideration with one's personal physician. 

Watch the video to learn more about motor fluctuations. 

Listen to a podcast about "off" episodes. 

Find recruiting clinical trials studying therapies for "off" times and other Parkinson's symptoms.


Ask the MD has been made possible through the leadership of members of our Parkinson's Disease Education Consortium in conjunction with The Albert B. Glickman Parkinson's Disease Education Program. These partners' support allows us to furnish high-quality educational content to the Parkinson's community while maintaining our commitment to allocate donor dollars to high-impact research. Editorial control of all Michael J. Fox Foundation-published content rests solely with the Foundation. 

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