While tremor — or shaking hands — is the primary sign of Parkinson’s disease, not all cases of shaky hands are due to Parkinson’s disease. Before diagnosing you with Parkinson’s, your neurology team at Dignity Health Southern California will evaluate your symptoms to rule out other possible causes.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in Southern California, Find a Doctor using our online tool. Our specialists are highly trained in diagnosing movement disorders and determining the right treatment — putting your needs and well-being first all the while.
Parkinson’s Disease Signs & Symptoms
Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms involve difficulties with movement. Symptoms are more manageable in the early stages of Parkinson’s, often only affecting one side of the body. As the disease progresses, symptoms such as abnormal walking pattern (gait) and hand tremor worsen and begin to affect daily activities.
Signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may include:
- Hand, arm, face, voice, leg, or foot tremors
- Muscle rigidity in the torso, arms, or legs
- Balance problems
- Poor coordination
- Slow movement
Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease at Dignity Health Southern California
As with many other brain and nervous system disorders, doctors do not have a specific test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. This means that before your doctor will determine a Parkinson’s diagnosis, they will rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease can be challenging, because many other disorders have similar signs and symptoms.
Diagnosing Parkinson’s may include:
- Medication history to rule out drug side effects as the cause of your symptoms
- Medical history evaluation, including any family history of Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders
- Imaging studies, including a cutting-edge diagnostic scan called DaTscan, which can differentiate Parkinson’s disease from a more common movement problem called essential tremor
- Medication trial to determine if your symptoms improve with established therapy
- Physical (neurological) examination to assess balance, gait, and muscle tone
This exclusionary approach to diagnosing Parkinson’s disease will help your doctor give you an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. You can trust your complete neurological care and testing to the experienced team at Dignity Health Southern California. Dignity Health offers diagnostic testing to determine the cause of Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms in Southern California.