People in Texas are often well aware of the common diseases that strike in old age, such as Parkinson’s. That’s one reason that they may panic if they have a tremor or their balance has started to slide. However, it’s important for aging people and their families to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. There are several conditions that share symptoms with Parkinson’s disease. Many of these are neurological, and some are basically harmless.
Mimics and misdiagnosis
It can be difficult for a general practitioner to get every diagnosis right. That can be especially true when it comes to a neurological disease like Parkinson’s. Although the characteristic tremor is a big tell for Parkinson’s, it’s not unique to that one disease. Other conditions like essential tremor can look a lot like Parkinson’s disease to patients and GPs.
Essential tremor is a condition that runs in families. It can involve shakiness in the hands, head and even voice. Unlike Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor is most often seen when people are in motion. By contrast, Parkinson’s-related tremors are usually observed when a person is trying to stay still. Essential tremor can be exacerbated by caffeine, anxiety and a lack of sleep.
If you or someone you love has symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to see a neurologist for a proper diagnosis. GPs and even other specialists like rheumatologists are not the best choice to confirm diagnoses of neurological disorders. Parkinson’s is misdiagnosed as much as 30% of the time. A late diagnosis can lead to complications and possibly be a cause for a medical malpractice claim. If you suspect a misdiagnosis that caused further harm, an attorney may explain your options for pursuing compensation.