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Many Parkinson’s patients go misdiagnosed

Up to one-quarter of all Ohio patients with Parkinson’s disease may have been originally misdiagnosed, according to one study. The progressive disorder of the nervous system is known to affect movement, beginning with small tremors and progressing to more significant tremors, trembling, slowness, inability to move and even delusions and hallucinations. While the treatment of Parkinson’s can significantly aid in improving quality of life and reducing symptoms, it can be important to start it as quickly as possible. However, misdiagnoses have held many patients back from receiving useful treatment and even led to severely worsened health conditions.

Who could be at risk?

Because Parkinson’s disease, which affects over 10 million people around the world, is more common in men and people over the age of 60, some doctors may not look for the condition in people who fall outside that range. People aged 51 to 60 and women were the most likely to receive a misdiagnosis when they arrived at the doctor’s office with Parkinson’s symptoms. In the study, 26% of respondents were initially diagnosed with another disorder, and many received incorrect treatment. While 36% were given medication for an incorrect condition, 6% were given surgery, and 6% received both medication and other procedures. In some cases, these medical mistakes led to significant side effects and other damage.

Of the misdiagnosed patients who received the wrong treatment, over one-third said their health worsened as a result. Others reported that they were repeatedly dismissed when they attempted to report their symptoms. One woman told that her symptoms were psychological when she was presenting with the first stage of Parkinson’s disease.

A misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a progressive condition can lead to serious health problems as treatment is delayed. Patients who have been harmed by a doctor’s error may consult with a medical malpractice attorney about their options to seek compensation.