Symptoms and diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

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Parkinson’s disease is the second most common degenerative neurological disease, with approximately 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year within the United States.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder (meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time) that involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells (neurons) in the brain.

Common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be explained through the acronym TRAP:
• Tremor - Involuntary trembling of the limbs
• Rigidity - Stiffness of the muscles
• Akinesia - Lack of movement or slowness in initiating and maintaining movement
• Postural instability - Bending or flexion of the body associated with difficulty in balance and stability

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed through a clinical evaluation in which a neurologist listens to the patient’s health history and evaluates their conditions and symptoms.

In most cases, experiencing tremors is the first sign of the disease that prompts individual’s to make an appointment with their primary care provider to be evaluated.

If Parkinson’s is suspected, primary care providers can arrange a referral to a neurologist. From there, primary care doctors and neurologists both play an important role in helping care for and treat Parkinson’s disease patients.

Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers, neurologists and other related medical experts dedicated to caring for patients living with Parkinson’s disease.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Rebecca Tat is a neurologist at LeBauer Neurology and a member of the Cone Health medical staff. Dr. Tat earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2000.

She completed her residency in neurology at Grandview Hospital and Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, and completed a fellowship in therapeutic neuromodulation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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