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Parkinson Disease & Mimics

Conditions That Mimic Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson disease is a complex progressive neurological disease involving the loss of neurons in a part of the brain called the “substantia nigra.” This results in a reduction in the amount of dopamine, a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter. When this important chemical in the brain is depleted, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop.

Parkinson disease is a complex progressive neurological disease involving the loss of neurons in a part of the brain called the “substantia nigra.” This results in a reduction in the amount of dopamine, a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter. When this important chemical in the brain is depleted, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop.

Many people across the UK are living with Parkinson’s Disease, but some only share a few of the symptoms and are actually experiencing another type of movement disorder. There are a number of complex conditions that mimic Parkinson’s Disease, making it even more difficult to diagnose and treat successfully. At Dementech, our specialists and state-of-the-art equipment make us well placed to provide the most accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan for you.

Why Choose Dementech?

  • Home to the UK’s leading Parkinson’s disease and dementia specialists
  • Industry-leading technology provides a fast and accurate diagnosis, with results available in 48 hours 
  • Same day consultations and assessments
  • Prices starting at £485
  • Offering unbeatable quality of care
  • Ongoing support for patients and their families
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Parkinson's disease

Understanding Parkinson’s & Conditions That Mimic Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a complex progressive neurological disease involving the loss of neurons in a part of the brain called the “substantia nigra.” This results in a reduction in the amount of dopamine, a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter. When this important chemical in the brain is depleted, the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease develop.

However, Parkinson’s Disease is far from being the only movement disorder that one can develop. Symptoms such as tremors, muscle rigidity, slow movement, impaired balance, and impaired coordination can all be associated with other conditions as well as Parkinson’s. Specialist diagnosis and support is the best route to take if you are struggling with these symptoms. Having a clear view of the specific disease you are experiencing will eventually lead to a more appropriate, and therefore more effective, treatment plan.

Dementech is a private clinic based in London specialising in the treatment of Parkinson’s. If you or a family member needs specialist treatment for Parkinson’s Disease (or another similar disorder) at any stage of its development, please contact us and we will be happy to provide any support you need.

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Friendly welcoming reception, the expertise is evident, but most of all the people who work there are warm and supportive.A Mohamed
Amazing service! Took care of every single need I had and made sure I felt comfortable through out the whole process!J Rabhi

Same Day Consultations

Our team at Dementech Neurosciences team will always aim to offer you a same day consultation when possible.

Same Day Assessment

Reaching a conclusive diagnosis can take time when it comes to movement disorders. We will provide same-day assessments to help speed up the process.

Patient Advisor Consultations

Your personal Patient Advisor will be on hand to talk you through your symptom management and answer any questions whenever you need.

Prices Starting at £485

Prices for an hour-long consultation start at £485. Each follow up appointment will cost £285. We always maintain full transparency about our costs.

Video Consultations Available

If you can’t make it to our clinic for your appointment, we offer video consultations on FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Skype.

Common Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

There are two types of symptoms: motor (movement) and non-motor (non-movement).

Common motor symptoms include:

  • Essential tremor
  • Slowness of movement
  • Stiffness
  • Impairment of balance

Non-motor symptoms vary from person-to-person, more so than the motor symptoms. They can include:

  • Low-blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Speech difficulties
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Osteoporosis

In most cases, both types of symptoms will worsen over time as the disease progresses. For conditions that mimic Parkinson’s, gradual worsening of the symptoms can vary and will also depend largely on the individual. Dementech can provide support with specialist medical interventions at any stage of symptom development.

hand tremor

Challenging Cases: Symptoms & Conditions That Mimic Parkinson’s Disease

There are a number of conditions that present some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s, but that do not respond in the same way to typical treatments. These diseases are referred to as Atypical Parkinsonisms, and are most likely to affect people in their 50s and 60s, although this can vary. 

Many other conditions involving movement -based issues mimic Parkinson’s Disease. A patient therefore may show no signs of developing PD but will experience very similar symptoms. These conditions can be particularly challenging for non-specialists and can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis. Specialist input from the team at Dementech is recommended in such cases. 

Atypical Parkinsonisms include disorders such as:

Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)

Second only to Alzheimer’s disease as a degenerative cause of dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies mimics Parkinson’s, but with more cognitive decline and visual hallucinations rather than movement-based problems.

Progressive supranuclear palsy

A brain disorder that affects balance. Walking becomes difficult for these patients and it may also cause problems with vision over time.

Multiple system atrophy (MSA)

This condition involves the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that controls internal functions such as digestion, the heartbeat, and breathing) and can affect coordination.

Corticobasal syndrome (CBD)

A rare atypical Parkinsonian disorder in which symptoms often involve one side of the body more than the other.

Essential tremor (ET)

A neurological disorder that causes excessive shaking of the hands, voice, and sometimes the head.

Post-traumatic parkinsonism

A condition caused by severe or frequent head injuries. Post-traumatic parkinsonism can also be associated with dementia.

Dementia from Parkinson’s Disease

Initially, Parkinson’s disease causes physical symptoms. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and difficulty with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia, which causes profound memory loss and makes it difficult to maintain relationships with others.

If you have Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, eventually you will be faced with great difficulty living by yourself. Dementia will likely affect your ability to care for yourself, even if your current experience of Parkinson’s Disease still means you can physically perform daily tasks. In these circumstances, we recommend seeking daily support from loved ones or professional carers who will be able to help you go about each day with less difficulty and confusion.

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Parkinson's disease treatment

Living with Parkinson’s Disease

Coping with Parkinson’s Disease can be difficult and frustrating thanks to its common, debilitating symptoms. Many patients experience mild to severe bouts of trembling, stiffness (often called rigidity), slow movements, and the loss of balance and coordination. As well as these physical symptoms, people with Parkinson’s and other similar conditions may face difficulty with the following:

  • Speaking and communicating with others
  • Being able to solve problems
  • Understanding abstract concepts
  • Remembering things
  • Paying attention

In many cases, the frustration that comes with symptom management stems from the loss of control. It can also be emotionally overwhelming to know that there is currently no cure for the disease. Nonetheless, patients have a number of tools at their disposal for better managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and living a healthy, enjoyable life.

At the Dementech Neurosciences London clinic, we offer different levels of care to treat patients with Parkinson’s. Because it is far more effective to prevent a disease, our approach involves risk assessments, prevention strategies, and tools to manage symptoms, treat the condition, and lessen its impact.

However, in cases where a diagnosis of a disease has been established, our multidisciplinary team will do everything possible to treat symptoms and prevent them from progressing further, improving the patient’s quality of life, emotional health, and well-being.

Get Support For Conditions That Mimic Parkinson’s Disease Today

Meet Our Doctors

Our team of specialists in London provide expert care to diagnose, manage and treat conditions that mimic Parkinson’s.

FAQs About Parkinson’s Disease

What are Parkinson's Disease mimics?

Parkinson’s disease mimics are conditions that have similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease, but these symptoms are caused by a different underlying mechanism. These mimics include conditions such as multiple system atrophy, essential tremor, and progressive supranuclear palsy.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson's disease mimics?

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease mimics may be difficulty with balance, tremors, stiffness, slow movement, and changes in speech and writing, just like Parkinson’s disease. However, the specific symptoms and progression of these mimics can differ from person to person and from Parkinson’s disease.

How common are Parkinson's Disease mimics?

It is estimated that up to 20% of patients initially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease may actually have a mimic condition.

What are some examples of Parkinson's Disease mimics?

The most common examples of Parkinson’s disease mimics are essential tremors, dystonia, multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and corticobasal degeneration (CBD).

How can certain mimics of Parkinson's Disease be differentiated from Parkinson's disease?

To ensure the differentiation of Parkinson’s disease mimics from Parkinson’s disease, this often requires a combination of clinical evaluation, imaging studies, and sometimes further testing such as lumbar puncture or genetic testing. An accurate diagnosis is important for proper treatment and management.

How quickly can we get an MRI, blood test, and other testing?

Our team carry out tests within two days of being requested, and we will get the results back within 48 hours to diagnose potential Parkinson’s disease mimics.

What does the consultation entail?

During a consultation, we will carry out an assessment and go through your medical history with a view to getting a diagnosis. From there, you will receive a treatment plan and a full consultation report.

How quickly can I be seen?

Where possible, we aim to see patients the same day. We wil respond to your request within 24 hours (48 hours on weekends).

Do you provide finance?

No, we do not offer any finance payment plans.

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