How is a diagnosis confirmed in patients with a typical Parkinson disease (PD) presentation?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Hauser, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

No laboratory or imaging study is required in patients with a typical presentation of Parkinson disease. Such patients are aged 55 years or older and have a slowly progressive and asymmetric parkinsonism with resting tremor and bradykinesia or rigidity. There are no red flags such as prominent autonomic dysfunction, balance impairment, dementia, or eye-movement abnormalities. In such cases, the diagnosis is ultimately considered confirmed once the patient goes on dopaminergic therapy (levodopa or a dopamine agonist) as needed for motor symptom control and exhibits a robust and sustained benefit. (See Workup.)


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