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Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease
- Muscle tone
- Rapid alternating movements
- Gait, posture
- Postural stability
- Quickness and precision of movement
- Observation of a tremor (during rest or activity)
- Tremor while at rest
- Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
- Postural instability
- Blank facial expression
- Decreased eye blinking
- Stooped posture
- Sleep disturbances
- Shuffling gait
- Difficulty with initiating movement
- Difficulty rising from a sitting position
- Difficulties with activities of daily living
- Voice changes
- Swallowing difficulties and drooling
- Changes in handwriting
- Loss of smell
- PET scan —You will be given an injection of a substance that will make the pictures of your brain clearer. You will lie on a table, which will slowly move you through a ring-shaped scanner. This test may take about 30 minutes or longer.
- SPECT scan—You will be given an injection of a substance that will make the pictures of your brain clearer. You will lie on a table, and a camera-like object will slowly rotate around you. This test may take about 90 minutes or longer. Your doctor may choose to use a specific type of scan, called dopmine transporter scan (DATscan), to evaluate your condition.
Parkinson disease. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Parkinsons%20Disease.aspx . Accessed September 5, 2013.
Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn’s Current Therapy 2002. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002.
Parkinson Disease. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/parkinsons%5Fdisease/parkinsons%5Fdisease.htm . Updated September 3, 2013. Accessed September 5, 2013.
Ravina B, Marek K, Eberly S, et al. Dopamine transporter imaging is associated with long-term outcomes in Parkinsons disease. Movement Disorders. 2012;27(11):1392-7.
Obeso JA, et al. Missing pieces in the Parkinson’s disease puzzle. Nature Medicine. 2010;16(6):653-661.
Parkinson's disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 27, 2013. Accessed September 5, 2013.
Should I get a DaTscan or PET scan to confirm my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease? National Parkinson Foundation website. Available at: http://www.parkinson.org/Patients/Patients---On-The-Blog/February-2011/Should-I-get-a-DaTscan-or-PET-scan-to-confirm-my-d . Updated February 1, 2011. Accessed Spetember 5, 2013.
Varrone A, Haldin C. New developments of dopaminergic imaging of Parkinsons disease. Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2012:56:68-82.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013