Why is there a high diagnosis error rate between Parkinson disease (PD) and other movement disorders?

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

In the general community, there is a high diagnosis error rate between Parkinson disease and essential tremor. For movement disorder neurologists, when an erroneous diagnosis of Parkinson disease is made, the most likely correct diagnoses are the atypical parkinsonisms (MSA, progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP], corticobasal ganglionic degeneration [CBD]). Early in the disease course, it may be very difficult to distinguish between Parkinson disease and the atypical parkinsonisms. These disorders also do not have laboratory biomarkers, and, therefore, distinguishing among them is based on clinical criteria. Olfactory testing may help differentiate Parkinson disease from PSP and CBD, but olfaction is also reduced in MSA.


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