Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease can be difficult, as there is no established test that confirms the disease.

Diagnosis usually depends on the presence of the following:

  • At least two of the three main Parkinson’s symptoms (tremor, slow motion and muscle stiffness)
  • Symptoms on one side of the body
  • Responsiveness to Parkinson’s medications
  • Tremor that is more noticeable at rest

Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease at Fletcher Allen

If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for Parkinson’s Disease, you may be referred to our Movement Disorders Clinic, located in our Neurology offices at the UHC Campus in Burlington.

The clinic provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. In addition, we have been designated as an American Parkinson Disease Association Information and Referral Center – providing support, information and resources to Parkinson’s patients and their loved ones.

Our University of Vermont Medical Group neurologists — working closely with neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons and other specialists — have years of experience diagnosing Parkinson’s disease. They are specially trained to diagnose and treat the disease, with advanced knowledge of the most recent treatments and therapies.

Diagnosis typically involves:

Neurological examination – A skilled neurologist in our Movement Disorders Clinic will conduct a comprehensive physical examination. It may include evaluating how you walk and your coordination, as well as how you perform simple tasks.

Medical history – You will also be asked about your medical history, whether you have a family history of Parkinson’s and any medications you take.

Imaging studies – Our neuroradiologists may recommend certain imaging studies to help diagnose your condition.