Parkinson's Disease Rehabilitation

At OHSU’s rehabilitation clinic, you receive care from a team of specialists with expertise in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. This provides the best approach to helping you maintain and regain abilities. We offer:

  • A team-based approach, with physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists all available to work with your doctor and other providers.
  • A wide range of therapies to help you with everything from daily activities to managing pain.
  • An intensive exercise program that aims to delay symptoms.
Andrea Serdar, a physical therapist and neurological certified specialist.
Andrea Serdar, a physical therapist and neurological certified specialist, and the rest of our neurologic team help patients regain balance and other skills.

When to have therapy

Your care team can help you manage your disorder so you feel as good as possible. Good times to receive therapy are:

  • Right after or shortly after you’re diagnosed
  • When you notice a change in your abilities
  • If you change medications, start a new medication or have surgery

What we can help with

The goal of your care team is to help you keep the highest function possible at each stage of disease.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapists can help you with:

  • Daily activities such as eating, dressing and bathing
  • Remembering when to take pills
  • Getting out of bed or a tub, or off a toilet seat
  • Vision problems
  • Avoiding falls at home
  • Writing
  • Using cooking and eating utensils
  • Computer adaptations

Physical therapy

Physical therapists can help you with:

  • Balance and avoiding falls
  • "Freezing," taking small steps or having problems with turning
  • Problems with walking
  • Flexibility and strength
  • Exercise programs
  • Equipment to increase mobility and safety
  • Standing straight and improving posture
  • Managing pain

Speech and language therapy

Speech language therapists can help you with:

  • Communicating, such as finding the right words and organizing your thoughts
  • Speech, including being able to be understood by others
  • Speaking loudness
  • Swallowing safely and easily
  • Memory, attention, problem-solving and speed of information processing.
Kristin Knight and our other speech-language therapists work with patients.
Kristin Knight and our other speech-language therapists help Parkinson’s patients with communication issues.

High-intensity exercise

We offer an intensive approach aimed at delaying symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

What is it?

This program, also called sensory motor agility training, uses active problem-solving and difficult, complex movements to achieve tasks. This is believed to push the nervous system to adapt. Treadmill training, with or without support of body weight, is another form of practicing tasks.

Who gets it?

This may be recommended if you can commit to a rigorous program, with physical therapy three or four days a week for four weeks.

For patients

Call 503-494-3151 to:

  • Make an appointment
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Ask questions


Center for Health & Healing, Building 1, first floor
3303 S. Bond Ave.
Portland, OR 97239

Center for Women’s Health, Marquam Hill
Kohler Pavilion, seventh floor
800 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239

OHSU Orthopaedics Clinic, Beaverton
15700 S.W. Greystone Court
Beaverton, OR 97006

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