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

Rajesh Pahwa, MD


January 13, 2022

Early in the disease course, differentiating Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonisms (ie, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal ganglionic degeneration) can present a diagnostic challenge, and there is a high diagnosis error rate between Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. Rest tremor does occur with essential tremor, but it can amplify during movement — a feature not seen in Parkinson's disease.

Supranuclear palsy of vertical gaze is a common symptom of progressive supranuclear palsy but does not occur in Parkinson's disease. Alien limb phenomenon is one of the most common features of corticobasal ganglionic degeneration. In multiple system atrophy, tremor is typically jerky instead of resting, with minipolymyoclonus.

Learn more about atypical parkinsonisms.

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