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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Parkinson disease


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Paralysis agitans
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Primary parkinsonism
  • Shaking palsy
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Your Question

Are there any diseases that have similar symptoms to Parkinson disease?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What conditions have similar symptoms as Parkinson disease?

A number of disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinson disease. People with symptoms that resemble Parkinson disease but that result from other causes are sometimes said to have parkinsonism. Some of these disorders are listed below.[1]

  • Postencephalitic parkinsonism
  • Drug-induced parkinsonism
  • Toxin-induced parkinsonism
  • Arteriosclerotic parkinsonism
  • Parkinsonism-dementia complex of Guam
  • Post-traumatic parkinsonism 
  • Essential tremor
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus 
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Corticobasal degeneration 
  • Multiple system atrophy 
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies 

More information on each of these conditions is available in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) publication, Parkinson's Disease: Hope Through Research. 

Parkinsonian symptoms may also appear in patients with other, clearly distinct neurological disorders such as Wilson disease, Huntington disease, Alzheimer disease, spinocerebellar ataxias, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Each of these disorders has specific features that help to distinguish them from Parkinson disease.[1]

Last updated: 7/19/2010