Parkinson's Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

12. How is Parkinson's disease diagnosed?

There are currently no blood or laboratory tests to diagnose sporadic Parkinson's disease. Diagnosis is based on a person's medical history and a neurological examination, but the disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately.

Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases. However, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans of people with Parkinson's usually appear normal. Recently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved an imaging technique called DaTscan, which may help to increase accuracy of the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Since many other diseases have similar features but require different treatments, it is very important to make an exact diagnosis as soon as possible to ensure proper treatment.