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Tests

Unfortunately, there is no diagnostic test that can confirm Parkinson's disease. Laboratory testing of the blood of patients with the symptoms typical of Parkinson's only rarely uncovers any abnormality.

Electroencephalograms (EEGs) record some aspects of brain electrical activity, but they are not effective in spotting Parkinson's.

The MRI and CAT scans of the brain produce remarkable and exquisite anatomic pictures.

The MRI and CAT scans of the brain of people with Parkinson's disease appear normal. The brain of people with Parkinson's disease appears normal.

The brain changes that create neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's are microscopic, on a chemical level, and are not revealed by these scans.

With no diagnostic tests to provide specific answers, physicians must base their diagnosis of Parkinson's on judgment. Physicians are intimately familiar with the characteristic history and the signs and symptoms found when examining a person with Parkinson's.

They then must judge how closely the history of symptoms and the neurologic findings (from the physical examination) of any specific person match those of typical Parkinson's disease. This determination through the judgment of the doctor (the clinician) is called a clinical diagnosis.




Useful Tools:
MEDLINEplus: Parkinson's Disease    Medtronic.com

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