Which lab studies are useful in the diagnosis of Parkinson disease (PD)?

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

Parkinson disease is a clinical diagnosis. No laboratory biomarkers exist for the condition, and findings on routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scan are unremarkable. Positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission CT (SPECT) may show findings consistent with Parkinson disease, and olfactory testing may provide evidence pointing toward Parkinson disease, but these studies are not routinely needed. (Olfactory testing can reveal hyposmia, which may precede the motor signs of Parkinson disease by several years. [37] However, olfactory loss is not specific and can also occur in Alzheimer disease.)


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