Education & Support

Education and Support

With the largest grassroots network across the country, the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s disease (PD) and aims to support every person and every family impacted by the disease. Through its nationwide system of Chapters and Information & Referral (I&R) Centers, APDA uniquely delivers education, support, and patient services to Americans with Parkinson’s and their families each day.

Support Group and Program Statistics

In 2016, APDA provided:

  • 1,700+ support groups that served 74,000 individuals with Parkinson’s and their family members
  • 770 exercise groups attended by more than 21,000 participants to improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms and lessen the impact of the disease
  • Educational symposia on living well with the disease attended by 5,500 people with Parkinson’s and their care partners

Educational Resources

APDA publishes more than 30 brochures and pamphlets available at no cost to the public. APDA focuses on developing educational materials that address the clinical and psychosocial symptomatology of Parkinson’s disease and offer guidance and information for coping with the disease. All materials can be downloaded from our website on our Publications page or may be ordered in hard copy and mailed to you.

View Publications

Resources for Spanish Speakers

Understanding the critical need to provide support to diverse Parkinson’s populations, APDA increased efforts to provide Spanish educational materials. To date, nine APDA brochures and supplements have been written in Spanish and more continue to be developed. Additionally, APDA offers access to live phone support in Spanish through the 800-223-2732 toll free help line. Finally, an “En Español” section has been added to the APDA website to ensure that the Spanish-speaking community can get the important care and support they need.

En Español

APDA Webinar Education Series

In 2016, APDA launched an educational webinar series to the global Parkinson’s network. These online programs, offered via the web and telephone, increased our ability to meet the educational needs of people with Parkinson’s Disease and family and friends in the comfort of their homes.

The webinars provide the most up-to-date information on Parkinson’s disease, treatments and behavioral information to help people enjoy the best quality of life.  They feature expert speakers from the Parkinson’s Disease community and offer the chance to ask questions during the live program. Each program offers downloadable resources which are available after the live broadcasts are archived on the APDA site and as podcasts.

View Webinar Series

First Responders Parkinson’s Awareness Training Program

APDA partnered with the Office of Continuing Professional Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to provide a web-based, user friendly program for police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical service providers to help them recognize the unique symptoms and needs of those with Parkinson’s disease and enable them to provide the best and most appropriate care. This program meets the educational goals in Section 4b4 of the New Jersey Parkinson’s Disease Public Awareness and Education Act (A-2576.) signed into New Jersey state law in December 2014.

This 1-2 hour web-based course with instructional videos intended to provide overall education about Parkinson’s disease and information on protocols for the first responder when interacting with a person who shows the signs of Parkinson’s.  The program has been posted on state training websites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Other states will be adding the program in the coming year; CEUs may be available through these states’ websites. A non-CEU version of the program is available on the APDA website via the link below.

View the Training Program

Specialized Populations

In addition to focusing on how to best serve our constituents and expand our reach across the general population, APDA provides the following unique resources for specialized patient populations.

Young Onset PD

For those who have been diagnosed under the age of 50, APDA provides resources and information to help younger people with Parkinson’s Disease live active and productive lives. APDA’s dedicated webpage offers a wide range of resource links and discusses issues that are particularly relevant to people with young onset Parkinson’s disease, such as ongoing employment, parenting, and planning for the near and distant future.

Learn More

APDA National Rehabilitation Resource Center

More Information

Boston University Center for Neurorehabilitation: Sargent College
635 Commonwealth Avenue, 6th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Exercise Helpline: 888-606-1688
Email: rehab@bu.edu


APDA’s National Rehabilitation Resource Center for Parkinson’s disease is located at the Boston University Sargent College Center for Neurorehabilitation. The Center is available to medical professionals and people with Parkinson’s Disease nationwide, serving as a central resource for information about Parkinson’s-related rehabilitation and exercise.

Through the Center’s toll-free helpline (888-606-1688), callers can speak with a licensed physical therapist about PD-appropriate exercise and relevant programs in their area. Engaging in regular physical activity is an important way to maintain mobility in PD.

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Veterans with PD

Veterans Affairs and PADRECC

PADRECCs are located in Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Philadelphia, PA; Richmond, VA; and San Francisco, CA.

For veterans who cannot travel to a PADRECC, the VA has more than 51 Consortium Centers – VA clinics that offer specialized Parkinson’s Disease and movement-disorder specialty care. These Centers are staffed by movement disorder specialists or clinicians with vast experience and interest in the field of movement disorders. These VA Consortium Centers work collaboratively with the six PADRECCs to ensure the highest level of care for all veterans.

For more information, call the PADRECC/Consortium Hotline at 800-949-1001, x5769 or visit their website.


In 2017, APDA published Helping Those Who Serve: Parkinson’s Disease Information for Veterans Community. This manual offers general information about Parkinson’s diagnosis, symptoms and treatment, tips for coping with disease progression and support for care partners. It also provides step by step directions on how to access the Veterans’ Affairs (VA) system and receive care from the VA PADRECC* and consortium centers across the country. The manual is accessible on the APDA website and in print.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) established six *Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers or “PADRECCs”. Each PADRECC delivers state-of-the-art clinical care, conducts innovative research, and offers outreach and educational programs to all veterans currently enrolled in the VA Healthcare System. Eligible veterans include those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and those who have just started to notice PD-like symptoms.

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