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How is Parkinson's Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is based on an individual’s symptoms. There are no standard laboratory tests for PD available and diagnosis is based primarily on medical history, and comprehensive neurological and physical examinations by specialists from the Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center who are experts in the diagnosis and management of PD.

Methods to assist with diagnosing PD include:

  • Neurological examination (including evaluation of symptoms and their severity)
  • Medication - when symptoms are significant, a trial test of drugs (primarily levodopa [L-dopa]) may be used to further diagnose the presence of PD
  • DATScan
 

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