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

Rajesh Pahwa, MD


January 13, 2022

The Movement Disorder Society recently published new Parkinson's disease diagnostic criteria. Under these guidelines, cortical sensory loss represents one of nine absolute exclusion criteria. Other criteria include, but are not limited to, unequivocal cerebellar abnormalities; clinical features being restricted to the lower limbs for 3+ years; or documentation of an alternative condition that may contribute to symptomology. Of note, when symptoms of parkinsonism occur with rapid onset together with other symptoms, they are unlikely to be due to Parkinson's disease.

Early bulbar dysfunction and recurrent falls (caused by impaired balance) within 1 year of onset represent red flags in diagnosing Parkinson's disease. For a patient to be diagnosed with the condition, no red flags are allowed. However, a patient may be diagnosed with clinically probable Parkinson's disease if one red flag is present, so long as it is counterbalanced by supportive criteria; if two red flags are present, at least two supportive criteria are needed.

Learn more about the differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.


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