20th of October 2018
Parkinson’s disease (PD) does not start all of a sudden. Clues which secretly reveal that you have PD have been piling up long before the neurologist diagnoses you with PD based on your motor symptoms.
The following phases are discerned (1,2):
Disease processes are already progressing, but visible symptoms do not yet appear. For this phase, science and industry are eagerly looking for so-called Parkinson’s predictors: biomarkers from tissue, blood, organs, etc. that can demonstrate Parkinson’s. E.g. see ‘The smell of Parkinson’s‘.
A real Parkinson predictor recognizes a possible future and may influence it.
προδρομή (prodrome) means ‘to run ahead’ in Greek. The prodromal symptoms show a possible future. Tangible non-motor symptoms are – for example – constipation and a lack of sense of smell. At the moment it’s not yet common practice that a GP asks you whether you have lost your sense of smell or have continous muscle pain when you enter the room with complaints about constipation.
Only a real Parkinson detective recognizes the coherence (the Parkinson bingo).
In this phase, a neurologist can diagnose you with Parkinson’s based on your motor symptoms.
Only then you may call yourself a real Parkinson patient 😉
(1) Berg, D., Postuma, R.B., Adler, C.H., Boem, B.R., Chan, C., Bubois, B., Gasser, T., Goetz, C.G., Haliday, G., Joseph, L., Lang, A.E., Liepelt-Scarfone, I., Litvan, I., Marek, K., Obeso, J., Oertel, W., Olanow, W., Poewe, W., Stern, M., Deuschl, G. (2015), MDS research criteria for prodromal Parkinson’s disease, Movement Disorders, 30 (12), Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3c86/34d1ed5846b6b50cfd52c1be320a89d056b8.pdf
(2)The prediagnostic phase of Parkinson’s disease.