Medical history for Parkinson's disease

To begin a medical evaluation for Parkinson's disease, your doctor likely will ask you questions about your general health and physical condition (your medical history). It is important for you to be honest about what changes you have noticed in your physical and mental abilities. These are some of the questions your doctor may ask to get a sense of when and how your symptoms developed:

  • Are you having difficulty with fine hand movements, such as buttoning shirts or cutting foods?
  • Has your handwriting changed?
  • Have you noticed any uncontrollable shaking in your hands, arms, legs, or other parts of your body?
  • Do you feel stiff and slow? Is this feeling getting worse?
  • Do you have trouble chewing foods?
  • Have you noticed changes in your voice?
  • Do you have trouble getting up from low or soft seats?
  • Do you have trouble getting in or out of a car?
  • Do you have trouble turning over in bed?
  • Have you noticed any problems keeping your balance, especially in a crowd of people?
  • Do you have trouble stopping or starting to walk?
  • Has your family noticed any changes in the way you move?
  • Have you experienced depression?
  • Have you had a change in bowel movements, such as constipation or diarrhea?
  • Have you had any big changes in weight over the last 6 months?
  • Are you warmer than most people around you and is that a change from the past?

Other questions may deal with medical illness in your family and what medicines you are taking.

Last Updated: December 8, 2008

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