Fast Five Quiz: Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Rajesh Pahwa, MD

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January 13, 2022

Figure 1. Illustration of the brain depicting the neurologic disorder of Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease has four hallmark signs. To make the clinical diagnosis, a patient must demonstrate two of these three symptoms: resting tremor, rigidity, or bradykinesia. The fourth hallmark sign — postural instability — manifests late in the disease course, usually after at least 8 years. To confirm diagnosis, a patient must both demonstrate these core features and respond to dopaminergic therapy. Presenting symptoms can be heterogeneous, thus informing a patient's classification into motor subtypes: tremor dominant, postural instability and gait difficulty, or indeterminate.

Many patients with Parkinson's disease also experience postural and/or kinetic tremor to a certain extent, though resting tremor is the classical presentation of the disease.

Learn more about the presentation of Parkinson's disease.

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