Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease In Women

Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease in women can be challenging. It takes women an average of 60 percent longer than men to be diagnosed, and women often need to consult with a movement disorders specialist. Depending on the stage of the disease, a women’s care team may include a physical therapist, occupational therapist, yoga teacher, personal trainer, dietitian, psychologist, spiritual leader, and other professionals. To find a quality provider, it is helpful to research potential providers. Look for a diverse staff and check out reviews from other patients.

PD in women may also have a broader range of symptoms than in men. For example, patients with PD are more likely to experience pain and tremor than men, and women tend to have more mental health problems and poor sleep than men do. Additionally, women who suffer from the disorder may experience bladder and pelvic floor issues. Additionally, sexual dysfunction is common among women with PD.

A patient may also exhibit a Parkinsonian gait, or a lack of swing. This can make it difficult for the patient to walk, talk, or perform daily tasks. Symptoms often begin on one side of the body, and spread to the other side over time. Eventually, the disease affects both sides of the body, though it may be more prevalent on one side than the other.

If a woman develops these symptoms, her doctor may recommend a diagnostic test known as a CT-scan. A CT-scan or MRI can rule out other conditions that mimic the symptoms. The scan can also help rule out a stroke or a brain tumor.

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