Diagnosis Is Key

When symptoms of a PS or ET movement disorder appear, they may be mistaken for normal signs of aging or a condition such as arthritis. If you start to notice symptoms such as shaking, balance problems, stiffness, or slowed movement in yourself or a loved one, ask your doctor if he or she will refer you to a movement disorder specialist—a neurologist who treats movement disorders—as soon as possible. He or she will look at your symptoms and your medical history and decide whether testing would be helpful.

With the correct diagnosis, the most appropriate treatment can begin immediately. This can lead to the best chances for a good outcome while avoiding unnecessary side effects from inappropriate treatments.

Clinical Trials

Diagnosis is one part of the bigger picture, which, of course, involves finding a cure for PS and ET movement disorders. The only way that this can happen is through research. When people with movement disorders raise their hands to participate in clinical trials, they can play a critical and important role in pushing new treatments one step closer to becoming available.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research matches patients with PS or ET and healthy subjects who do not have the disease with clinical trials that may lead to significant progress in the research and development that may one day come up with a cure for these diseases.

You can also learn more about the Parkinson Study Group, a non-profit group of doctors and other healthcare providers dedicated to research in Parkinson's Disease, as well as the many other clinical trials available all over the country by clicking on these links.

Next: Diagnosing Parkinsonian Syndrome or Essential Tremor

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