Parkinsons Diagnosis, Just Exactly What Is The Process?
Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease is, as with any other condition, a complex and uncertain process. With symptoms very similar to that of other neurological disorders, including a variety of different forms of the disease itself, the Parkinsons diagnosis requires an physician experienced in dealing with the condition first hand, and an ability to differentiate between the symptoms set synonymous with this and other conditions.
Some related conditions take their course very rapidly, whereas some take time to develop. Similarly, some conditions are always present, whilst some are acute, therefore it is essential for the initiation of treatment that patients are diagnosed effectively and correctly. The patient may require observation for a period of time before proper Parkinsons diagnosis can be made, as there are no laboratory tests which can indicate its presence for certain.
The doctor will firstly begin his patient evaluation by looking at his medical history and conducting a general health check to see if there are any obvious signs of this, or any other condition in the past, or at present. A neurological test can be conducted to assess the range of movement of the patient, and highlight any problems which may arise and point towards the presence of Parkinsonism.
There are at present no diagnostic tests to identify the presence of Parkinson's. Blood tests will seldom yield any results and depend on the specific nature of the patient's condition. On the same vein, brain scans will very rarely reveal any conclusive results as any brain changes are chemical and would therefore be neigh on impossible to detect through traditional scanning methods.
The best way in which diagnosis can be reached is through the experience and judgement of the physician, who must have dealt with cases of the condition and other related neurological disorders before to have a realistic chance of correct diagnosis. The diagnostician should be expressly familiar with the key characteristics of each potential condition, and take time to diagnosis to the best of his abilities
That way, treatment can begin immediately for the correct problem, and the patient can benefit from alleviation of the symptoms he is suffering, or will be suffering in the future. Additionally, this provides a good opportunity to discuss with the patient the realistic goals and longer term prospects, although again this is very much dependent on a correct and conclusive Parkinsons diagnosis.
If you are at all concerned about Parkinson's and feel you have experienced some of the trademark symptoms, or alternatively a family member has previously been diagnosed with the condition and you feel you may be susceptible through genetics, it is strongly advisable to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
This will give him the best chance of successful diagnosis, and will give you the best chance of beginning treatment as soon as possible. Although Parkinson's can be a disabling condition, it can be well treated to make life comfortable for the patient, and there are many options to try and dampen the symptoms, so the best policy is always to consult your physician as soon as possible.