866-582-9596

Greenville/Spartanburg

110A Aztec Ct Duncan, SC 29334 Phone: 864-233-6700 Fax: 864-233-6799 Phone: 864-582-9596 Fax: 864-582-9597

Charleston

4042 Ashley Phosphate Rd North Charleston, SC 29418 Phone: 843-767-3344 Fax: 843-767-8844

Myrtle Beach

1406 Commerce Place, Suite J Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 Phone: 843-839-5101 Fax: 843-839-5103

Beaufort

1180 Ribaut Rd. Suite 2 Beaufort, SC 29902 Phone: 843-379-0612 Fax: 843-379-0613

Columbia

1401 St. Andrews Road, Suite 150 Columbia, SC 29210 Phone: 803-282-9700 Fax: 803-828-7433

Savannah

4821 Waters Avenue Savannah, GA 31404 Phone: 912-355-3446 Fax: 912-355-3447
  • Web Site Options:
  • Printer Friendly
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add To Your Favorites
  • Re-Size Your Text: Aa Aa Aa

Health Issues

Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis

No definitive tests exist for Parkinson's disease, so it can be difficult to diagnose, especially in the early stages. And parkinsonism — the symptoms of Parkinson's disease — can be caused by many other types of problems. Examples include:

  • Other neurological disorders. Essential tremor, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy each feature some symptoms common to Parkinson's disease.
  • Drugs. Antipsychotic medications — such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol) — block dopamine, as do anti-nausea drugs like prochlorperazine (Compazine) or metoclopramide (Reglan). If you take any of these drugs, you may develop parkinsonism, although it is reversible when the drug is stopped.
  • Toxins. Exposure to carbon monoxide, cyanide or certain other toxins can produce symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.
  • Head trauma. Both solitary head injuries and the repetitive variety of head trauma common in boxing have been linked to Parkinsonism, although risks are small.
  • Structural problems. Strokes or fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus) may occasionally mimic Parkinson's disease.

A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is based on your medical history and a neurological examination. As part of your medical history, your doctor will want to know about any medications you take and whether you have a family history of Parkinson's. The neurological examination includes an evaluation of your walking and coordination, as well as some simple hand tasks.

A diagnosis of Parkinson's is most likely if you have:

  • At least two of the three cardinal Parkinson's symptoms — tremor, slowing of motion and muscle rigidity
  • Onset of symptoms on only one side of the body
  • Tremor more pronounced at rest, for example, when your hands are resting in your lap
  • Strong response to levodopa, a Parkinson's drug