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Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease

Currently there is no single diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease.  Instead your physician depends on your history of symptoms, their clinical testing on physical exam and at times neuroimaging.  There are a number of other illnesses that fall into the broad category of Parkinsonism that must be ruled out.

A Patient's Guide To Parkinson's Diagnosis
The diagnosis of Parkinson's disease can be a complex process. This group of articles from a physician and patient perspective assists in its understanding.

Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease - An Overview
An overview of the diagnostic process when faced with symptoms suggestive of Parkinson's disease.  Although neurologists and movement disorder specialist are fairly experienced and adept at diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease, it is still a subjective process to some extent and early stages of the disease may be difficult to conclude with certainty.


Differential Diagnosis in Parkinson's Disease
Not all tremors are Parkinson's disease.  Care must be taken to determine which of the group of disorders under the broad category, parkinsonism, is the likely diagnosis.  Learn more about the differential diagnosis of Parkinson's.

The Many Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

 Parkinson's disease is characterized by four cardinal signs: resting tremor, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), rigidity and postural instability as well as a number of non motor signs all of which can adversely affect quality of life.  Learn about the myriad of symptoms that manifest in this illness.


Physical Examination in Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease

 Once Parkinson's disease is suspected, a doctor's physical exam becomes an important part of the diagnostic process since this is still a clinical diagnosis.  Learn what physicians are looking for during your neurological exam.


Diagnostic Testing in Parkinson's Disease

Although neuroimaging in the workup for Parkinson's disease is not definitive, it can sometimes help in distinguishing parkinsonism disorders from other more benign diseases such as essential tremor.  Learn what imaging studies are useful for in the diagnostic process. 


The Importance of Biomarkers in Parkinson's Disease

 The search is on for biomarkers for Parkinson's disease, measurable indicators of disease.  Lear how they will revolutionize the diagnosis, management and development of new Parkinson's treatments and ultimately help in the search for that elusive cure. 


Genetics Testing in Parkinson's Disease
Whether or not to undergo genetics testing when faced with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is a very personal decision and this information may provide you with information that will allow you to make an educated choice.

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