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Parkinson's Disease

Does a brain scan confirm or rule out PD?

11/17/2008

Question:

My husband has been diagnosed with Parkinson`s disease by a diabetes specialist that he went to for his diabetes, His primary physician doesn’t agree with this diagnosis. He thinks it may be major depression and anxiety, but will not rule out the possibility of Parkinson’s. He has scheduled a brain scan for my husband.

My question is will this confirm the diagnosis or just rule out other illness? My second question is who do we believe and what else should we do?

Answer:

The diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) is made clinically based on history and symptoms. Currently, there is no screening test that can be done to make this diagnosis. 

A brain MRI or CT scan cannot confirm or rule out PD, but can be helpful to see if there is anything else that could be causing symptoms. I suggest you discuss with your doctor a referral to a neurologist.

For more information:

Go to the Parkinson's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Punit  Agrawal, DO Punit Agrawal, DO
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University