Over a million people in this country have Parkinson’s disease. Pennsylvania residents are no doubt aware of what the symptoms are like: a trembling in the hands, unsteady gait and feelings of stiffness. Anyone with these symptoms might conclude that he or she has Parkinson’s, and a doctor may even agree. However, there are two conditions in particular that mimic Parkinson’s and thus are liable to misdiagnosis.

Essential tremor

The first condition is essential tremor, a movement disorder characterized by brief periods of shaking not only in the hands but also in the head and neck and even in the larynx. In some rare cases, it affects the lower extremities.

One simple rule for distinguishing between Parkinson’s and essential tremor is to see if the tremors occur even while at rest. If they do, the patient likely has Parkinson’s. In addition, those with essential tremor usually have a family history of it. Fortunately, essential tremor can be treated with medications and, unlike Parkinson’s, does not grow progressively worse.

Drug-induced Parkinson’s

This condition normally arises out of drug use, in particular the use of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, but how long it takes to arise will depend on drug type, dosage and frequency of its use. Treatments for drug-induced Parkinson’s differ from those for Parkinson’s.

Legal help for malpractice victims

Perhaps your drug-induced Parkinson’s or essential tremor was misdiagnosed, and you received the wrong treatments as a result. If all this happened because of doctor negligence, then you may have a medical malpractice claim on your hands. You might be compensated for all your losses, including medical expenses both past and future, lost wages and pain and suffering. It may be wise to have a lawyer represent you at the negotiation table.