Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
A recent survey studying Parkinson’s Disease has found that at least one-quarter of people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s were wrongly diagnosed. That is to say, in their initial diagnosis, they were diagnosed with something that was 1 from Parkinson’s disease. For instance, many individuals who are eventually diagnosed with Parkinson’s were initially diagnosed with, say, anxiety or a stroke.
This survey studied more than 2000 cases. 26 percent of those who were surveyed reported that they were initially misdiagnosed. 21 percent of those who were surveyed reported that they had to visit their general practitioner more than three times before getting referred to and in turn, getting to see, a specialist.
More severely, of those who were initially misdiagnosed, more than a third received medicine/drugs for ailments that they did not suffer from.
The problem is that Parkinson’s disease has a myriad of symptoms, not all of which occur at once.
“Parkinson’s is an incredibly complex condition with more than 40 symptoms, and it affects everyone differently,” says Katie Goates, professional engagement program manager at Parkinson’s UK.
She continues on,
“One of the biggest challenges for Parkinson’s research is that there is no definitive test for Parkinson’s, and as a result, we’ve heard of people being misdiagnosed with anything from a frozen shoulder or anxiety to a stroke. Our survey has shown that because of this, people are being left in limbo and seeing their health deteriorate.”
Be on the lookout for handwriting getting smaller; tremor, especially in fingers, hands or feet; uncontrollable movements during sleep; limb stiffness or slow movement and changes to voice or posture. In experiencing many or most of these symptoms, it is best that you attempt to get a reference to a specialist from your doctor.