Parkinson’s disease

Learning About
Your Diagnosis

Getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a shock to every patient. Patients receive their diagnosis after a clinical examination, not based on a lab test or on imaging results. In this video, Dr. Stern explains to a newly diagnosed patient with PD the variables he considers in a PD diagnosis. He also explains the role of dopamine imaging (a DaTscan) in the diagnosis of parkinsonian syndromes using advanced imaging technology. In the second half of the video,
Dr. Stern discusses the prognosis of a newly diagnosed patient, emphasizing that PD is a very heterogeneous condition with most patients living full and active lives for many years.

Diagnosis Video Library

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Patient questions
  • How do you know that I have Parkinson’s disease?
  • Is there a test you can do to confirm the diagnosis?
  • What is my long-term prognosis?
  • What is the right care team for me? How often will I see you as my care provider?
  • Is there a patient support group nearby?
  • Can you refer me to a physical therapist who specializes in PD?
Points you might want to raise during the discussion with your doctor
  • Mention any non-motor symptoms you experienced in case the doctor did not ask for them
  • If the doctor prescribes a medication, make sure you understand the side effects
  • You might also consider having a follow-up visit with the doctor to have her/him talk to your spouse or family member
  • Consider your interest and willingness to participate in research and clinical trials
Parkinson’s and
Mental Health
to Treatment