diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease
The key factors for diagnosing this disease are the onset of typical symptoms, such as slower movement, tremors and stiffness and a significant improvement from treatment with L-dopa, which replaces lost dopamine.
Supplementary imaging tests, such as a brain MRI or PET, might also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
The fundamental treatment is pharmacological and should be individualised for each patient, because not all patients have the same symptoms or the same intensity.
Nevertheless, if drug treatment does not control the symptoms, there is a surgical alternative.
The Clinica Universidad de Navarra is a pioneer in research on Parkinson's disease and an expert in its surgical treatment.
A very high level of research is conducted on this and other neurodegenerative diseases, which portends definitive advances in the coming years.
At present, the greatest effort is focused on understanding the mechanisms that lead to neuronal death and how the neurodegenerative process extends itself to affect large areas of the brain.
Parkinson's disease is clinically diagnosed condition. The neurologist performs the diagnosis with the data provided by the patient and family and from the findings of the physical examination.
Additional tests (blood tests, magnetic resonance [SP] imaging and PET) are not strictly necessary, although in certain patients, they can help increase the diagnostic certainty and differentiate Parkinson's disease from other processes that share common clinical characteristics.