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Does Parkinson’s Show Up In Blood Work

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The Test Could Eventually Help Provide More Precise Diagnoses For People With Movement Disorders Such As Parkinsons Disease

Does cannabis show up in a standard blood test?

Researchers at UCLA Health have developed a blood test that can distinguish between two very similar movement disorders, Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy . The test, which is currently for research use only, identifies the disease by analyzing the contents of tiny sacs called “exosomes” that are sent out by brain cells and wind up in the blood.

The researchers report their findings in this month’s Acta Neuropathologica.

Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to distinguish from other neurodegenerative diseases, including MSA, due to similar symptoms such as muscle rigidity and tremors. Patients who have been incorrectly diagnosed with one or the other disease may feel anxiety when unexpected symptoms occur, or, in the case of a Parkinson’s misdiagnosis, the disease progresses faster than predicted.

“If they do have Parkinson’s, there are a lot of treatments that can help with the symptoms for a long time,” says Gal Bitan, professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “If they have MSA, which is a very aggressive disease that leads to rapid deterioration, they would want to prepare. They would want to talk with loved ones, and possibly take care of their estate.”

Both Parkinson’s and MSA patients had elevated alpha-synuclein, but in Parkinson’s it mostly came from neurons, while in MSA it came from oligodendrocytes. The researchers could tell the two diseases apart with high accuracy.

Caroline Seydel is the author of this article.

Parkinson’s Disease Early Stages Detected With ‘simple’ Mri; Up To 85% Accurate Samantha Olson Shutterstock

Detecting a life-threatening disease could give researchers the power of earlier diagnosis, treatment approaches, and innovative therapies — a power that could one day possibly lead to cure a disease like Parkinson’s. Researchers from Oxford University published their findings in the journal of Neurology, which reveal a promising new diagnostic approach for the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

“At the moment we have no way to predict who is at risk of Parkinson’s disease in the vast majority of cases,” said Dr. Clare Mackay, the study’s co-author and professor of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University. Oxford researchers are turning the tables on that bleak risk evaluation now that they have developed an expediently simple technique to diagnose early Parkinson’s stages with a magnetic resonance imaging machine with 85 percent accuracy. A normal MRI scan cannot detect the early signs, which is why researchers used restating state functional MRI to look at how strong the brain connections were in the basal ganglia, where important dopamine nerves are located.

“We think that our MRI test will be relevant for diagnosis of Parkinson’s,” said Dr. Michele Hu, the study’s co-author and professor of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

 

Imaging Studies Can Differentiate Parkinsons From Other Causes Of Parkinsonism

Catherine L. Gallagher, MD

Although Parkinson’s disease remains a clinical diagnosis, imaging studies are an important ancillary test for differential diagnosis of movement disorders. Imaging studies may be used to rule out structural and other causes of parkinsonian symptoms. Single-photon emission computed tomography scans using labeled tracers for dopamine transporters can also be used to confirm parkinsonism or differentiate PD from secondary causes of parkinsonian motor symptoms. Finally, imaging studies are being used in research to better understand the pathophysiology of PD and elucidate causative mechanisms that could be therapeutic targets in the future.

Blood Test To Detect Parkinson’s Disease Could Lead To Earlier Treatment

Australian researchers hope discovery can be used to diagnose disorder – now done through process of elimination

Last modified on Wed 20 Sep 2017 19.27 BST

Researchers have developed the world’s first blood test that can detect the abnormal metabolism of blood cells in people with Parkinson’s disease, which means the blood test could be used to diagnose the disorder.

At present the only way to diagnose Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition, is through ordering a range of tests and scans to rule out other disorders, combined with examining symptoms.

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Patients are often diagnosed only after they have developed symptoms and brain cells have already been destroyed. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, early detection allows treatment with medication and physiotherapy to begin, which may slow the deterioration of motor functions in patients.

Because diagnosing the disease is a process of elimination, and the symptoms mimic those of other neurological disorders, patients are also at risk being diagnosed and treated for the wrong disease.

The group of Australian researchers from La Trobe University believe their blood test will enable doctors to detect Parkinson’s disease with unprecedented reliability and lead to earlier treatment. Their findings are under review by an international medical journal.

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What Is Essential Tremor And How Is It Different To A Parkinsons Tremor

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A tremor is a rhythmical, involuntary movement that affects a part of the body, such as the hand.

Essential tremor is the most common type of tremor. It’s most noticeable when your hands are doing something and it usually affects both the right and left sides of the body equally. Essential tremors often lessen when your body is resting. 

Unlike an essential tremor, a Parkinson’s tremor is most obvious when the affected body part is resting and tends to be less noticeable with movement. It usually starts on one side of the body and may progress to the other side as Parkinson’s develops.

The time it takes to get a diagnosis can vary from person to person. Some people may receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s quite quickly, but for others it may be a long process. This can be due to a number of things, including your medical history, your age and what symptoms you have.

Your specialist may wish to rule out other causes of your symptoms first and see how you respond to treatment. This may take some time, and, as already mentioned, there is currently no definitive test for Parkinson’s.

How you respond to treatment may help your specialist make a diagnosis. Keeping a diary or record of your symptoms will give the specialist more information to guide their decision.

Because the symptoms of Parkinson’s are sometimes similar to other forms of parkinsonism, people can sometimes be misdiagnosed. 

Simple Blood Test Could Help Predict Progression Of Parkinson’s Disease

Date:
IOS Press
Summary:
In order to provide the best medical care for newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients, a method of predicting their cognitive and motor progression, beyond using purely clinical parameters, would have major implications for their management.

In order to provide the best medical care for newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients, a method of predicting their cognitive and motor progression, beyond using purely clinical parameters, would have major implications for their management. A novel study published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease suggests that a blood test for inflammatory and cell senescence biomarkers may be a reliable predictor of cognitive decline, including identifying those who will develop an early dementia and motor progression in PD patients.

Investigators examined the association of blood-derived markers with motor and cognitive function over time to discover if this could help to better predict disease progression of newly diagnosed PD patients. More than 150 newly diagnosed PD patients who participated in the Cognitive Impairments in Cohorts with Longitudinal Evaluation-Parkinson’s Disease study and 99 controls underwent physical and cognitive assessments over 36 months of follow-up.

Story Source:

Blood Test May Distinguish Parkinsons From Multiple System Atrophy

A highly sensitive and specific blood test has been developed that can distinguish Parkinson’s disease from multiple system atrophy , a team at the University of California, Los Angeles Health reported.

The test examines the levels of a protein called alpha-synuclein in exosomes — tiny vesicles released by cells that end up in the blood. In Parkinson’s, alpha-synuclein comes from neuron-derived exosomes, while in MSA it comes from exosomes released by oligodendrocytes, another type of brain cell.

Based on the content and origin of the exosomes, this test can help discriminate between Parkinson’s disease and MSA.

“This is a major breakthrough, because it allows us to analyze what’s going on in the brain using a blood test,” Gal Bitan, PhD, the study’s senior author and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in a university press release.

The study, “?-Synuclein in blood exosomes immunoprecipitated using neuronal and oligodendroglial markers distinguishes Parkinson’s disease from multiple system atrophy,” was published in Acta Neuropathologica.

Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative diseases such as MSA have several symptoms in common, including muscle rigidity and tremors. Because of this overlap in symptoms, many cases are misdiagnosed.

Incorrect diagnoses can also affect clinical trial results, as potential treatments would be tested in people without the disorder under evaluation.

Blood Test May Help Distinguish Parkinsons From Similar Diseases

Researchers have found that people with Parkinson’s disease have lower levels of a certain protein in their blood than people with similar diseases. The results suggest that testing for the protein might help doctors to accurately differentiate between PD and similar diseases early on. The study appears in the February 8 online edition of Neurology.

Because there are no definitive diagnostic tests for Parkinson’s, the diagnosis can be unclear especially early on in the disease.  When diagnosis is uncertain, some people may be diagnosed with “parkinsonism,” which refers to a category of diseases, including Parkinson’s, that cause slowness of movement, stiffness and rest tremor. Other diseases in the category include multiple system atrophy , progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration .

Earlier studies found that a spinal fluid test may help distinguish PD from these other diseases, but this test is difficult to do during a routine visit to the doctor.

Results

  • Blood levels of NfL protein were generally lower in people with PD and in healthy individuals than in people with other Parkinsonian disorders.
  • This result held both for those recently diagnosed and those who had been living with their disease for four to six years.
  • The test for NfL could not distinguish between MSA, PSP and CBD.

What Does It Mean?

References

Hansson O, Janelidze S, Hall S, et al. . Blood-Based NfL: A Biomarker for Differential Diagnosis of Parkinsonian Disorder. Neurology 88: 1-8

Determining Diagnosis Through Response To Parkinsons Medication

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If a person’s symptoms and neurologic examination are only suggestive of Parkinson’s disease or if the diagnosis is otherwise in doubt, the physician may, nevertheless, prescribe a medication intended for Parkinson’s disease to provide additional information. In the case of idiopathic Parkinson’s, there is typically a positive, predictable response to Parkinson’s disease medication; in the case of some related Parkinsonian syndromes, the response to medication may not be particularly robust, or it may be absent entirely.

Unfortunately, there are no standard biological tests for the disease, such as a blood test. However, researchers are actively trying to find biomarkers in blood and other bodily fluids that could help confirm the diagnosis.

What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms

Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinson’s disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didn’t exercise or didn’t start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.

Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments — whether medicines or deep brain stimulation — are optimal; and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.

Improve the quality of your sleep.

Brain Imaging And Other Tools To Aid Diagnosis Of Parkinsons

In addition to taking a history and performing a detailed neurologic examination, physicians sometimes use brain imaging to help support a particular diagnosis. However, these studies have their limitations in the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and are typically used only in select patients. Brain imaging is not routinely performed by neurologists or movement disorder specialists when they are considering a diagnosis, especially if the person’s symptoms strongly suggest to the physician that idiopathic Parkinson’s disease is the correct diagnosis.

Helping diagnose Parkinson’s with DaTscan and other tests

Rather, use of imaging is most helpful when the diagnosis is uncertain, or when physicians are looking for changes in the brain that are more typical of one of several Parkinsonian syndromes and other conditions that can mimic Parkinson’s. Imaging studies to evaluate Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian syndromes include magnetic resonance imaging , which examines the structure of the brain, and DaTscan, an imaging test approved by the Food and Drug Administration to detect the dopamine function in the brain. A DaTscan may help differentiate idiopathic Parkinson’s disease from certain other neurologic disorders. Most physicians’ offices will have access to MRI; however, DaTscan imaging may only be available at larger hospitals or medical centers.

First Blood Test For Parkinsons Detects Disease Much Sooner

It could be available in the next five years

For the 10 million people living with Parkinson’s disease around the world, diagnosis might have come too late. Today, a patient can only be diagnosed with the degenerative disease after receiving a a number of tests and ruling out all the other possible diseases, at which point many brain cells have already been lost. If the disease were diagnosed earlier, doctors might be able to intervene and slow the progression of the disease. Now researchers from La Trobe University in Australia have developed a diagnostic blood test for Parkinson’s, according to a press release. Thanks to a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the test might make its way to clinical use in the next five years. If it were to do so, it would be the world’s first blood test for Parkinson’s.

The blood test is based on a discovery that the researchers made about a decade ago, that over-active mitochondria are responsible for the buildup of toxic products responsible for the cell damage inherent to Parkinson’s. Those mitochondria flip a chemical switch that tells them to work harder, and researchers can now pick up on that signal to identify Parkinson’s.

To assess the reliability of the test, the researchers tried it on 38 subjects, 29 with Parkinson’s and nine healthy subjects. They found the test to be very accurate and reliable . In the near future they plan to try their test on a larger group of subjects.

Is It Parkinson’s Or Something Else Blood Test Might Help

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February 9, 2017 / 1:34 PM / HealthDay

Measuring a particular blood protein might help doctors easily distinguish Parkinson’s disease from some similar disorders, a new study suggests.

The potential blood test is “not ready for prime time,” Parkinson’s disease experts said. But, it marks progress in the quest for an objective way to diagnose Parkinson’s and similar conditions known as atypical parkinsonian disorders, they noted.

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States alone, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

The root cause is unclear, but as the disease progresses, the brain loses cells that produce dopamine — a chemical that regulates movement. As a result, people suffer symptoms such as tremors, stiff limbs, and balance and coordination problems that gradually worsen over time.

Right now, there is no blood test, brain scan or other objective measure that can definitively diagnose Parkinson’s, said James Beck, vice president of scientific affairs for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

“In general, Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed with a clinical exam,” Beck explained.

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What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease

Most patients with Parkinson’s disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable – reducing symptoms during “on” periods and no longer controlling symptoms during “off” periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they can’t. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.

What Is The Outlook For Persons With Parkinsons Disease

Although there is no cure or absolute evidence of ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease, scientists are working hard to learn more about the disease and find innovative ways to better manage it, prevent it from progressing and ultimately curing it.

Currently, you and your healthcare team’s efforts are focused on medical management of your symptoms along with general health and lifestyle improvement recommendations . By identifying individual symptoms and adjusting the course of action based on changes in symptoms, most people with Parkinson’s disease can live fulfilling lives.

The future is hopeful. Some of the research underway includes:

  • Using stem cells to produce new neurons, which would produce dopamine.
  • Producing a dopamine-producing enzyme that is delivered to a gene in the brain that controls movement.
  • Using a naturally occurring human protein – glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, GDNF – to protect dopamine-releasing nerve cells.

Many other investigations are underway too. Much has been learned, much progress has been made and additional discoveries are likely to come.

What Medications Are Used To Treat Parkinsons Disease

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Medications are the main treatment method for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan best suited for you based on the severity of your disease at the time of diagnosis, side effects of the drug class and success or failure of symptom control of the medications you try.

Medications combat Parkinson’s disease by:

  • Helping nerve cells in the brain make dopamine.
  • Mimicking the effects of dopamine in the brain.
  • Blocking an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain.
  • Reducing some specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Levodopa: Levodopa is a main treatment for the slowness of movement, tremor, and stiffness symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Nerve cells use levodopa to make dopamine, which replenishes the low amount found in the brain of persons with Parkinson’s disease. Levodopa is usually taken with carbidopa to allow more levodopa to reach the brain and to prevent or reduce the nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure and other side effects of levodopa. Sinemet® is available in an immediate release formula and a long-acting, controlled release formula. Rytary® is a newer version of levodopa/carbidopa that is a longer-acting capsule. The newest addition is Inbrija®, which is inhaled levodopa. It is used by people already taking regular carbidopa/levodopa for when they have off episodes .

Mri Brain Scans Detect People With Early Parkinson’s ScienceHealth

Oxford University researchers have developed a simple and quick MRI technique that offers promise for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

The new MRI approach can detect people who have early-stage Parkinson’s disease with 85% accuracy, according to research published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

‘At the moment we have no way to predict who is at risk of Parkinson’s disease in the vast majority of cases,’ says Dr Clare Mackay of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, one of the joint lead researchers. ‘We are excited that this MRI technique might prove to be a good marker for the earliest signs of Parkinson’s. The results are very promising.’

Claire Bale, research communications manager at Parkinson’s UK, which funded the work, explains: ‘This new research takes us one step closer to diagnosing Parkinson’s at a much earlier stage – one of the biggest challenges facing research into the condition. By using a new, simple scanning technique the team at Oxford University have been able to study levels of activity in the brain which may suggest that Parkinson’s is present. One person every hour is diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the UK, and we hope that the researchers are able to continue to refine their test so that it can one day be part of clinical practice.’

We think that our MRI test will be relevant for diagnosis of Parkinson’s

Dr Michele Hu

Treatment Options For Early Onset Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s treatment aims to slow the disease’s progression. Medication treatment options may include the following:

  • Levodopa is a chemical that’s converted to dopamine in the brain. People with early onset Parkinson’s may experience more negative side effects, such as involuntary movements.
  • MAO-B inhibitors can help reduce the breakdown of dopamine in the brain.
  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors can help extend Levodopa’s effects on the brain.
  • Anticholinergics can help reduce tremors.
  • Amantadine may be used to improve muscle control and relieve stiffness.

Can Parkinsons Disease Be Diagnosed By How You Smell

There’s evidence that people with Parkinson’s disease may emit a specific type of scent, which is related to increased sebum production. However, doctors have not developed a way to use this odor to diagnose the disease. More research is being done to see how the finding can help with diagnosis and treatment. 

What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease

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Each person with Parkinson’s disease experiences symptoms in in their own unique way. Not everyone experiences all symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. You may not experience symptoms in the same order as others. Some people may have mild symptoms; others may have intense symptoms. How quickly symptoms worsen also varies from individual to individual and is difficult to impossible to predict at the outset.

In general, the disease progresses from early stage to mid-stage to mid-late-stage to advanced stage. This is what typically occurs during each of these stages:

Early stage

Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are usually mild and typically occur slowly and do not interfere with daily activities. Sometimes early symptoms are not easy to detect or you may think early symptoms are simply normal signs of aging. You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing.

Often, a family member or friend notices some of the subtle signs before you do. They may notice things like body stiffness or lack of normal movement slow or small handwriting, lack of expression in your face, or difficulty getting out of a chair.

Mid stage

Mid-late stage

Standing and walking are becoming more difficult and may require assistance with a walker. You may need full time help to continue to live at home.

Advanced stage

Tips For Caring For Someone With Parkinsons Disease

Caring for a loved one with early onset Parkinson’s can be difficult. If you’re a caregiver for someone with this condition, it’s important that you remember your own emotional and physical health.

Not only are you dealing with a difficult diagnosis, you’re also managing an increased number of responsibilities. Burnout is common in caregivers, so make sure you’re checking in with your own needs.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation Center for Parkinson’s Research recommends these tips for caregivers:

Blood Test Would Detect Parkinsons In Early Stages

A group of researchers developed a blood test that would allow neurologists detect Parkinson’s disease and track the illness as it progresses.

“If successful, we expect our findings will translate into a valuable diagnostic tool for Parkinson’s disease,” said study co-author Judith Potashkin, professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, it is estimated that 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year.  Data from 2013, by the University Center for Health Sciences at the University of Guadalajara, reported more than 500,000 cases of this neurodegenerative condition in Mexico. The same year, an economic model of Parkinson’s disease forecasted that cases in the world’s population will double by 2040.

Now days, this disease is still incurable. It can cause tremors and severely hamper movement. Although medications allow controlling the condition, it gets worse over the years and medications do not stop its progression.

The traditional method to diagnose Parkinson’s is by analyzing symptoms. Currently, brain scans are available, allowing the analysis of imaging studies to detect the disease; however, the information obtained from these devices may still be somewhat imprecise, Potashkin said.

The study was published in the Feb. 3 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What Doctors Look For When Diagnosing Parkinsons

Certain physical signs and symptoms — noticed by the patient or his or her loved ones — are usually what prompt a person to see the doctor. These are the symptoms most often noticed by patients or their families:

  • Shaking or tremor: Called resting tremor, a trembling of a hand or foot that happens when the patient is at rest and typically stops when he or she is active or moving

  • Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement in the limbs, face, walking or overall body

  • Rigidity: Stiffness in the arms, legs or trunk

  • Posture instability: Trouble with balance and possible falls

Once the patient is at the doctor’s office, the physician:

  • Takes a medical history and does a physical examination.

  • Asks about current and past medications. Some medications may cause symptoms that mimic Parkinson’s disease.

  • Performs a neurological examination, testing agility, muscle tone, gait and balance.

Is It Parkinson’s Disease Blood Test Might Tell

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But new technique needs more study, researchers say

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 — Measuring a particular blood protein might help doctors easily distinguish Parkinson’s disease from some similar disorders, a new study suggests.

The potential blood test is “not ready for prime time,” Parkinson’s disease experts said. But, it marks progress in the quest for an objective way to diagnose Parkinson’s and similar conditions known as atypical parkinsonian disorders, they noted.

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States alone, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

The root cause is unclear, but as the disease progresses, the brain loses cells that produce dopamine — a chemical that regulates movement. As a result, people suffer symptoms such as tremors, stiff limbs, and balance and coordination problems that gradually worsen over time.

Right now, there is no blood test, brain scan or other objective measure that can definitively diagnose Parkinson’s, said James Beck, vice president of scientific affairs for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

“In general, Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed with a clinical exam,” Beck explained.

The best person to make that call is a neurologist with expertise in movement disorders, according to Beck.

“But,” he said, “even highly trained doctors initially get it wrong about 10 percent of the time.”

Neurology

What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • tremor or shaking, often when resting or tired. It usually begins in one arm or hand
  • muscle rigidity or stiffness, which can limit movement and may be painful
  • slowing of movement, which may lead to periods of freezing and small shuffling steps
  • stooped posture and balance problems

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary from person to person as well as over time. Some people also experience:

  • loss of unconscious movements, such as blinking and smiling
  • difficulties with handwriting
  • drop in blood pressure leading to dizziness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • sweating

Many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease could be caused by other conditions. For example, stooped posture could be caused by osteoporosis. But if you are worried by your symptoms, it is a good idea to see your doctor.


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