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GEM - Parkinson's disease including reference to NICE guidance

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a disease of unknown aetiology which is characterised by:

  • tremor
  • bradykinesia
  • rigidity
  • impaired postural reflexes

Parkinson's disease is due to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurones in the substantia nigra.

How common is Parkinson's disease?

What are the characteristic features of the Parkinsonian tremor?

What are the features suggestive of an essential tremor?

What are the main other clinical features of Parkinson's disease?

When considering the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, can you think of a differential diagnosis?

If a general practitioner suspects possible Parkinson's disease, should the patient be referred for expert diagnosis and management, or treatment initiated by the general practitioner?

In the management of early parkinson's disease, NICE has suggested that there is a choice of three different therapies as first-line treatment for early Parkinson's disease

If psychotic symptoms develop in the patient with Parkinson's disease and antipsychotic medication is indicated, are typical or atypical antipsychotics preferred?

Further information:


  1. Royal College of General Practitioners (August 2006). Curriculum Statement 15.7 Neurological problems.

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