Are Parkinson’s misdiagnoses common?

| Mar 25, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

More than a quarter of Parkinson’s patients get misdiagnosed. According to a recent report, a study conducted by a U.K. Parkinson’s organization examined 2000 people with the condition. Researchers found that 26% of those with Parkinson’s didn’t receive an accurate diagnosis initially. Some said they had to talk to their doctor at least four different times to get a precise diagnosis.

On top of that, around half of those misdiagnosed were treated for entirely different issues, as health care professionals gave them medication and performed surgeries unrelated to Parkinson’s.

Who is most likely to receive a misdiagnosis?

People can develop Parkinson’s at any age. However, the study says women and the elderly are more likely to receive a misdiagnosis. In one instance, a woman claims she went to her doctor for several years, complaining about her increasingly severe tremors. However, doctors allegedly didn’t think of diagnosing her with Parkinson’s due to her age. According to the report, the woman says her health care providers said she was “doing it to herself” and that the way she walked was just a “learned behavior.”

Parkinson’s can progress without proper treatment

While Parkinson’s isn’t completely curable, receiving an early and accurate diagnosis can substantially reduce its symptoms. However, if treated improperly, those with the condition may have a harder time doing the things like:

  • Going on vacation
  • Working
  • Having sex
  • Driving

Parkinson’s is a complicated and under-researched disease. And while it affects each patient differently, doctors have a legal duty of care to give patients the most accurate diagnosis they can and take their concerns seriously. If Parkinson’s patients endure pain and suffering due to their misdiagnosis, they have resources available to help them out.