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What Is The Difference Between Parkinson’s Disease And Parkinson’s Syndrome

How Is Parkinsonism Diagnosed

Parkinson’s & Huntington’s: What’s the difference?

You should be referred to a Parkinsons specialist for the diagnosis of any parkinsonism. They may wish to explore different things before giving you a diagnosis.

Your specialist will look at your medical history, ask you about your symptoms and do a medical examination.

Telling the difference between types of parkinsonism isnt always easy, for the following reasons:

  • The first symptoms of the different forms of parkinsonism are so similar.
  • In many cases, parkinsonism develops gradually. Symptoms that allow your doctor to make a specific diagnosis may only appear as your condition progresses.
  • Everyone with parkinsonism is different and has different symptoms.

Find out more: see our information on symptoms of Parkinsons, and diagnosing Parkinsons.

One of the most useful tests to find out what sort of parkinsonism you may have is to see how you respond to treatment.

If your specialist thinks you have idiopathic Parkinsons, theyll expect you to have a good response to Parkinsons drugs such as levodopa . A good response means that your symptoms will improve. Sometimes, it will only be clear that youve responded to medication when the drug is reduced or stopped, and your symptoms become more obvious again.

If you dont have any response to Parkinsons medication, your specialist will have to look again at your diagnosis.

Although not routinely available, your specialist may wish to carry out some of the tests below.

Current tests available include:

Introduction And Clinical Features

Table 1. Differential diagnosis for parkinsonian syndromes

Parkinsons disease
Secondary parkinsonism
Wilsons disease
Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation type1

The previously mentioned features of PD are found in varying combinations in other parkinsonian syndromes , raising a diagnostic challenge in some individuals. The presence of atypical features, however, may raise suspicion. Progressive supranuclear palsy typically manifests with symmetric parkinsonism, impaired oculomotor function , prominent axial rigidity, and early falls. The cortical involvement of corticobasalganglionic degeneration may lead to apraxia, alien limb, cortical sensory impairment, and myoclonus, in the setting of asymmetric parkinsonism. Multiple system atrophy may comprise prominent parkinsonism cerebellar signs and symptoms or autonomic dysfunction, including orthostatic hypotension and syncope, urinary symptoms, constipation, and sexual dysfunction . These Parkinsons-plus syndromes typically display more rapid progression and little, if any, response to dopamine replacement. The presence of dementia early in disease should raise suspicion of dementia with Lewy bodies , typically associated with hallucinations and fluctuating clinical symptoms. However, parkinsonism is also a feature of Alzheimers disease and frontotemporal dementia in some patients, and tau mutations on chromosome 17 lead to autosomal dominant inherited frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism .

Signs It Might Be Multiple System Atrophy Instead Of Parkinsons Disease

Here are some clues as to whether it is multiple system atrophy or Parkinsons disease. One of the easier distinctions is between PD and MSA-C .If the patient presents with unsteadiness while walking, uncoordinated arms and legs, bladder disturbance and/or dizziness when standing the diagnosis is more likely to be MSA-C. On the other hand, if a person looks Parkinsonian the distinction can be harder, but there are clues:

  • In the earlier stages of MSA-P , which is often when people have just been told they have Parkinsons disease, some patients will fall often.Frequent falls also occur in Parkinsons disease, but it typically occurs 10-15 years after diagnosis.
  • In patients with MSA the classic Parkinsons drug L-Dopa may work initially but will stop working very quickly.It can continue working in PD patients for many years.
  • Dementia is not associated with MSA however, it does occur in patients with lewy body Parkinsons disease.
  • Early autonomic nervous system symptoms such as low blood pressure when standing and issues with the bladder are often signs of possible MSA in patients diagnosed with Parkinsons.
  • Vocal cord issues are less common but very typical in MSA and much less common in PD.Some examples include difficulty getting words out, odd sighs and even falling asleep during a conversation.

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Background On Bayesian Networks

Bayesian networks are statistical models belonging to the family of probabilistic graphical models that combine principles from graph theory, probability theory, computer science, and statistics . In particular, they are directed acyclic graphs in which nodes represent random variables in the Bayesian sense and edges between the nodes represent probabilistic dependencies among the corresponding random variables. A Bayesian network defines a unique joint probability distribution given by:

) represents the set of parents of x in the graph.

When the topology and/or the parameters of the network are unknown, they can be estimated using a set of training data. Two approaches are commonly used to learn the network structure: constraint-based and search-and-score. The former starts with a fully connected graph, and remove edges if certain conditions are satisfied in the training data. The latter approach performs an exhaustive search in the space of all possible structures, which are evaluated using a predefined scoring function.

Once the structure is learned and the parameters are fixed, the network can be used for inference. In this case, the Bayesian network encodes a disruption p, , x, y) so that, given a set of features, x, , x, it returns the label y that maximizes the posterior probability P, , x), which is trivially derived from Equation 1 using the definition of conditional probability and the chain rule.

What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

9 Fundamental Differences Between Parkinson

Symptoms of Parkinsons disease and the rate of decline vary widely from person to person. The most common symptoms include:

Other symptoms include:

  • Speech/vocal changes: Speech may be quick, become slurred or be soft in tone. You may hesitate before speaking. The pitch of your voice may become unchanged .
  • Handwriting changes: You handwriting may become smaller and more difficult to read.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Sleeping disturbances including disrupted sleep, acting out your dreams, and restless leg syndrome.
  • Pain, lack of interest , fatigue, change in weight, vision changes.
  • Low blood pressure.

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Multiple Sclerosis Vs Parkinsons Disease Differences In Symptoms Causes And Treatment

Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onJune 10, 2016

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition that affects the nervous system, while Parkinsons disease is a progressive neurological disorder affecting movement. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease are quite similar at times, but there are distinct differences setting the two conditions apart.

Causes of multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease are not well known, although there is some speculation to their roots. We will outline those speculated causes and highlight the symptoms, risk factors, complications, treatment, and therapies for both multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease to raise your awareness on each disorder.

Associated Complications Of Parkinsonism

If the documentation indicates the patient has dementia secondary to parkinsonism, it would be reported as:

  • G31.83, Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • F02.80, Dementia in other diseases classified elsewhere without behavioral disturbance

In the Alphabetic Index under “dementia,” go down to “with” and then to “Parkinsonism.” The two codes G31.83 should be reported. Again, G31.83 should be sequenced first, followed by F02.80.

G31.83 applies to:

  • Lewy body dementia
  • Lewy body disease

Again, we need to read all the notations at G31, which indicates that F02.80 is to be added as a secondary code in this situation.

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The Difference Between Parkinson’s Disease And Lewy Body Dementia

One of the most confusing concepts to explain in the clinic is the difference between Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia. Ultimately people with Parkinson’s can look very similar with motor and non-motor problems. This is particularly tricky when PwP first present but the easiest way to consider Lewy Body Dementia is like having a very aggressive progression of Parkinson’s where patients are dementing in the first year of their condition whereas this process is much slower when patients develop Parkinson’s Disease Dementia. Indeed, clinically Lewy Body Dementia patients look like they have a cross between Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, which is actually close to what is seen down the microscope when researchers study the brain. Understanding the differences between Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia is not only difficult for patients and their families but has led some professional groups to try and lump all of these patients together under one umbrella, which probably does little to help individual families appreciate what the future holds.

Hopefully this video will help you to gain a more complete understanding of the differences between Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia.


Background On Support Vector Machines

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Support vector machine is a supervised learning method derived from the statistical learning theory, which was developed by Vladimir Vapnik in late 90s . A SVM classifier builds a function f : D using the training data so that f is able to predict the label yi of a new example xi.

SVM can use kernelized inputs that allow us learning a nonlinear function or decision boundary. More sophisticated variants based on multiple kernel learning define the kernel function as the combination of other simpler kernels :

and Dp is the dimensionality of the corresponding feature representation.

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Whats The Difference Between Corticobasal Degeneration And Parkinsons

The main difference between CBD and Parkinsons is that it usually starts on one side with the gradual loss of use of one hand or leg , and there may be little flicks of involuntary muscle jerks. Walking and balance difficulties usually occur later in CBD than in Parkinsons. Also, in CBD, a person may have trouble with purposeful movements, such as buttoning a shirt or cutting food.

For more information on corticobasal degeneration, read this information page.

Pathological Evidence Of Dopamine Dysfunction In Pd And Rls

Post-mortem studies in PD demonstrate loss of nigral neurons resulting in striatal dopamine deficiency, with differing morphological lesion patterns according to the clinical subtypes of PD. Cell loss in the ventrolateral part of the substantia nigra pars compacta projecting to the dorsal putamen is more prominent in the akinetic-rigid type, whereas tremor-dominant PD shows predominantly medial SNPC cell loss . Variability in lesion patterning might explain why some patients with PD may develop RLS. In addition, loss of dopamine 2 receptors has been documented in advanced PD .

At autopsy of 8 patients with primary RLS, there was a significant decrease in dopamine 2 receptors in the putamen compared to a neurologically normal control group. The decrease in the D2 receptors correlated to the severity of the RLS . This evidence that the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system is affected in both RLS and PD might provide a stronger argument for an etiologic link between the two. Moreover, there were significant increases in tyrosine hydroxylase in the substantia nigra, but not in the putamen of the RLS group. Phosphorylated tyrosine hydroxylase was found to be increased in both the substantia nigra and putamen. These findings are consistent with data from animal iron deficiency models demonstrating increased presynaptic dopaminergic activity .

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Multiple Sclerosis Vs Parkinsons Disease: Us Prevalence And Economic Impact

Anyone can develop multiple sclerosis, but it mostly affects 20- to 40-year-olds. Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the U.S. is estimated at over 400,000 cases, and nearly 200 new cases are diagnosed each week. Rates of multiple sclerosis are highest in areas furthest away from the equator, so the rates are higher in the Northern U.S.

Direct and indirect costs resulting from multiple sclerosis can range from $8,528 to $54,244.

One million Americans live with Parkinsons disease. The average cost of Parkinsons disease including treatment, lost work wages, and social security payments is $25 billion annually in the U.S.

What Causes Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsonâs or Parkinsonism. Whatâs the Difference?

Parkinsons disease occurs when nerve cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra become impaired or die. These cells normally produce dopamine, a chemical that helps the cells of the brain communicate . When these nerve cells become impaired or die, they produce less dopamine. Dopamine is especially important for the operation of another area of the brain called the basal ganglia. This area of the brain is responsible for organizing the brains commands for body movement. The loss of dopamine causes the movement symptoms seen in people with Parkinsons disease.

People with Parkinsons disease also lose another neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. This chemical is needed for proper functioning of the sympathetic nervous system. This system controls some of the bodys autonomic functions such as digestion, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Loss of norepinephrine causes some of the non-movement-related symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

Scientists arent sure what causes the neurons that produce these neurotransmitter chemicals to die.

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What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. Symptoms can take years to develop, and most people live for many years with the disease. The symptoms caused by Parkinsons include an ongoing loss of motor control as well as a wide range of non-motor symptoms .

Understanding The Differences Between Parkinsonism And Parkinson Plus Syndromes

Parkinsonism means looks like Parkinsons disease. To neurologists this means that the person has a somewhat flexed posture, moves slowly, is stiff and usually walks slowly, with small steps and reduced or no arm swing. We call the syndromes atypical because they usually differ from Parkinsons Disease in a few ways:

  • there is usually no tremor
  • the two sides are usually affected about equally
  • the response to L-Dopa and the other medications used in Parkinsons Disease is not very good
  • deep brain stimulation surgery is of no value
  • Very often when the condition is mild, at the earliest stages, we cant tell whether it is Parkinsons Disease or atypical Parkinsons Disease and we treat it as if it is Parkinsons Disease because we dont have treatments for the atypical Parkinson disorders. Sometimes they respond to the usual Parkinsons Disease medications, but usually they dont. And when they do, the response is not as good as it is with PD.

    Parkinson plus syndromes refer to syndromes which look like atypical PD, but also include additional abnormalities that are not seen in PD. These include: abnormalities of eye movements, gait ataxia , dystonia , severe problems with low blood pressure on standing, or changes on the neurological exam that are only detected by the neurologist in the form of abnormal reflexes.

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    What Is The Difference Between Parkinsonism And Pd

    Parkinsonism is a clinical phenotype consisting of bradykinesia and rigidity. Resting tremor can be part of parkinsonism but is not necessarily present. Postural instability may also be present. Bradykinesia refers not just to a slowness of movements but to difficulty initiating movements with a characteristic diminishing amplitude to repetitive movements. Parkinsonian rigidity worsens when the patient is distracted. Parkinsonism can be caused by neuroleptic exposure , cerebrovascular disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions. PD is an idiopathic neurodegenerative disorder producing parkinsonism as its cardinal manifestation.

    What Is The Difference Between Progressive Supranuclear Palsy & Parkinsons Disease

    What is the difference between Essential tremor and Parkinson Disease tremor?

    Both PSP and Parkinsons disease show similar symptoms such as stiffness, movement difficulties, and clumsiness, but the severity of the condition is often based on the symptoms.1

    Progressive supranuclear palsy is more progressive when compared to Parkinsons disease.2

    PSP is a rare brain disorder that causes serious and progressive problems whereas Parkinsons disease is a nervous system disorder that affects movements.3,4

    Many studies were conducted based on the facts of the two diseases that presented very similar symptoms, but they are quite different from each other when analyzed in detail.

    PSP and Parkinsons have overlapping symptoms, but diagnosis often becomes complicated. However, experts suggest that PSP is more severe with cognitive impairment when compared to Parkinsons disease. Concentration and memory are most severely affected in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy.

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    The Purpose Of Clinical Diagnosis

    The diagnosis of the parkinsonian syndromes is entirely clinical, as at the present time no imaging, biochemical, or genetic tests definitively diagnose or separate the different diseases. Diagnosis relies on taking a complete medical history that includes timeline of symptoms, recognition of the important clinical signs, and consideration of the differential diagnoses. Individuals diagnostic acumen is substantially influenced by clinical experience, and even among movement disorder specialists, the clinical diagnosis can change over time because of emerging clinical signs.

    What Is Parkinson’s Disease

    Parkinsons disease is a degenerative, progressive disorder that affects nerve cells in deep parts of the brain called the basal ganglia and the substantia nigra. Nerve cells in the substantia nigra produce the neurotransmitter dopamine and are responsible for relaying messages that plan and control body movement. For reasons not yet understood, the dopamine-producing nerve cells of the substantia nigra begin to die off in some individuals. When 80 percent of dopamine is lost, PD symptoms such as tremor, slowness of movement, stiffness, and balance problems occur.

    Body movement is controlled by a complex chain of decisions involving inter-connected groups of nerve cells called ganglia. Information comes to a central area of the brain called the striatum, which works with the substantia nigra to send impulses back and forth from the spinal cord to the brain. The basal ganglia and cerebellum are responsible for ensuring that movement is carried out in a smooth, fluid manner .

    The action of dopamine is opposed by another neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. In PD the nerve cells that produce dopamine are dying. The PD symptoms of tremor and stiffness occur when the nerve cells fire and there isn’t enough dopamine to transmit messages. High levels of glutamate, another neurotransmitter, also appear in PD as the body tries to compensate for the lack of dopamine.

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    What Makes Them Different

    MS and Parkinsonâs have different causes. They usually start to affect you at different ages, too.

    MS often affects people between ages 20 and 50, but children get it, too. Parkinsonâs usually starts at age 60 or older, but some younger adults get it.

    MS is an autoimmune disease. That means your bodyâs immune system goes haywire for some reason. It attacks and destroys myelin. As myelin breaks down, your nerves and nerve fibers get frayed.

    In Parkinsonâs, certain brain cells start to die off. Your brain makes less and less of a chemical called dopamine that helps control your movement. As your levels dip, you lose more of this control.

    Some genes may put you at risk for Parkinsonâs, especially as you age. Thereâs a small chance that people who are exposed to toxic chemicals like pesticides or weed killers can get it, too.

    These symptoms are more common if you have MS. They not usually found in Parkinsonâs:

    • Dizziness or vertigo, where you feel like the room spins around and you lose your balance


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