Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Difference Between Parkinson’s Disease And Parkinsonism

Whats The Difference Between Dementia With Lewy Bodies And Parkinsons

What is the difference between Parkinsons disease and other tremors? (Karen Blindauer, MD)

In dementia with Lewy bodies, dementia always appears first. There can also be changes in alertness as well as visual hallucinations. However, because of the presence of Lewy bodies throughout the entire brain, characteristics of this disease not only include cognitive characteristics, but also physical, sleep, and behavioral changes. As the disease progresses, the motor symptoms common to Parkinsons such as tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems will appear.

For more information on dementia with Lewy bodies, visit

Is There A Link

Some people have MS and Parkinsonâs, but it could be a coincidence.

Research suggests that the damage that MS causes to your brain can lead some people to develop Parkinsonâs later on.

If you have MS, your immune system triggers ongoing inflammation. This can create lesions in your brain that cause Parkinsonâs disease. If lesions form in certain spots in your brain, they can affect how it makes dopamine.

Key Difference Parkinsons Vs Huntingtons Disease

The key difference between Parkinsons and Huntingtons disease is that Parkinson disease is a disorder with rigidity, tremors, slowing of movements, postural instability and gait disturbances usually occurring in old age due to degeneration of the substantia nigra of the midbrain while Huntingtons disease is a familial neurodegenerative disorder usually occurring in a younger population, characterized by emotional problems, loss of thinking ability and abnormal choreiform movements .

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Cause Signs And Symptoms Treatment And Management Age Of Onset Of Parkinsons And Huntingtons Disease:


Parkinsons Disease: PD is caused by the degeneration of the neurons in Substantia nigra of the midbrain.

Huntingtons Disease: HD is caused by the mutations in the HTT gene.

Age of Onset:

Parkinsons Disease: PD usually occurs after the age of 50.

Huntingtons Disease: HD usually occurs in the thirties or forties.


Parkinsons Disease: PD causes tremors, rigidity, slowing of movements and gait disturbances.

Huntingtons Disease: HD causes higher function abnormalities such as problems in thinking and reasoning together with characteristic chorea.


Parkinsons Disease: PD is treated with dopamine-enhancing drugs such as levodopa, dopamine agonists, etc.

Huntingtons Disease: HD has no curative treatment and main the treatment is supportive.

Life expediency:

Parkinsons Disease: PD doesnt have an effect on life expectancy. However, it reduces the quality of life.

Huntingtons Disease: HD patients live 15-20 years after the appearance of the first symptom.

Whats The Difference Between Corticobasal Degeneration And Parkinsons

What Is The Difference Between Essential Tremors And ...

The main difference between CBD and Parkinsons is that it usually starts on one side with the gradual loss of use of one hand or leg , and there may be little flicks of involuntary muscle jerks. Walking and balance difficulties usually occur later in CBD than in Parkinsons. Also, in CBD, a person may have trouble with purposeful movements, such as buttoning a shirt or cutting food.

For more information on corticobasal degeneration, read this information page.

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Psychotic And Other Symptoms

In addition to the symptoms we have already mentioned, other symptoms can appear in both diseases. For example, in Alzheimers disease, delirium appears occasionally, while in Parkinsons disease it practically does not. It is important to remember that delirium is an organic disorder that mainly affects awareness and attention.

In relation to psychotic symptoms, visual hallucinations may appear in both diseases, more or less in the same proportion. There may also be delusions, being frequent in Alzheimers and occasional in Parkinsons.

Neuronal And Glial Tau Pathology In Psp

PSP is a degenerative tauopathy characterized by accumulation of filamentous tau inclusions within neurons. Tau is a microtubule associated protein that is biochemically composed of six major isoforms related to alternative mRNA splicing, including three isoforms with four 32-amino acid conserved repeats in the microtubule binding domain and three isoforms with three repeats . In PSP, 4R tau preferentially accumulates, whereas in Alzheimers disease tau inclusions are composed on a nearly equal mixture of 3R and 4R tau. Monoclonal antibodies specific to 3R and 4R tau now permit assessment of the type of tau that accumulates within neuronal lesions with routine immunohistochemistry .

In addition to neurofibrillary tangles , tau pathology of PSP is characterized by inclusions in astrocytes and in oligodendroglia . The latter glial lesions are distinct from the glial cytoplasmic inclusions of MSA and the sparse glial lesions detected in PD, not only based on their immunoreactivity with tau, but also on their morphology. Tau also accumulates in cell processes , referred to as tau-positive threads.

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Symptoms Related To Brain Function Are Different

There is some overlap, but in general, the overall cognitive symptoms that people experience with Parkinsons disease dementia and Alzheimers are different. Alzheimers mainly affects language and memory at the outset, whereas Parkinsons affects problem-solving, speed of thinking, memory, and mood.6

Unlike in Alzheimers disease, people with Parkinsons-related dementia often experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoid thoughts. Both conditions can lead to depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.4,6

Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

What is the difference between Essential tremor and Parkinson Disease tremor?

Unlike Alzheimers, Parkinsons disease specifically affects movement. Early signs of the disease can be easy to miss or ignore, but the most common manifestation is a tremor. This is characterized by involuntary shaking that usually begins in your hands or fingers, though it can potentially affect any part of your body. Your hand may tremble when you are at rest, or you may unconsciously rub your thumb and index finger together .

Parkinsons disease can also result in bradykinesia, or slowed movement. This can create the feeling of having your feet stuck to the floor. Your gait may change to shorter steps when you walk, and you may have difficulty with general movements, like trying to get out of a chair.

You may also experience muscle rigidity or stiffness. This can further limit your range of motion and make movement painful.

This can also extend to any automatic or unconscious movements. You may have trouble blinking, emoting, or swinging your arms when you walk. In fact, many people experience a masked face where they constantly have a mad, sad, or serious look even when they are in perfectly good moods.

Along with its effects on movement, Parkinsons disease can affect other things involving your motor function, including:

  • Changes to your handwriting
  • Slurring or speaking softer, lower, or without your usual inflections
  • Poor posture
  • Constipation
  • Poor sleep

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Living With Parkinson Disease

These measures can help you live well with Parkinson disease:

  • An exercise routine can help keep muscles flexible and mobile. Exercise also releases natural brain chemicals that can improve emotional well-being.
  • High protein meals can benefit your brain chemistry
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help your ability to care for yourself and communicate with others
  • If you or your family has questions about Parkinson disease, want information about treatment, or need to find support, you can contact the American Parkinson Disease Association.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease , the most common form of dementia among older adults, is an irreversible degeneration of the brain that causes disruptions in memory, cognition, personality, and other functions that eventually lead to death from complete brain failure. Genetic and environmental factors including diet, activity, smoking, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, and other medical diseases contribute to the risk of developing this form of the disease. The hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease are the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques between nerve cells in the brain and neurofibrillary tangles, which are twisted fibers found inside the brain’s cells). These tangles consist primarily of a protein called tau.

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Associated Complications Of Parkinsonism

If the documentation indicates the patient has dementia secondary to parkinsonism, it would be reported as:

  • G31.83, Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • F02.80, Dementia in other diseases classified elsewhere without behavioral disturbance

In the Alphabetic Index under dementia, go down to with and then to Parkinsonism. The two codes G31.83 should be reported. Again, G31.83 should be sequenced first, followed by F02.80.

G31.83 applies to:

  • Lewy body dementia
  • Lewy body disease

Again, we need to read all the notations at G31, which indicates that F02.80 is to be added as a secondary code in this situation.

Parkinsonism And Parkinsons Disease


If a person has parkinsonism, does that mean he or she has Parkinsons disease? Likewise, if a person has Parkinsons disease, does that mean he or she has parkinsonism?

These are great questions! In this lesson, Ill explain what these two terms mean, the difference between parkinsonism and Parkinsons disease, and six of the most common types of atypical parkinsonism.

In addition, Ill explain the ICD-10-CM coding guidelines and conventions and how to code for complications of Parkinsons disease and parkinsonism.

My dear friends personal story related to Parkinsons disease is also here to help you better understand the disease process. Bill was recently diagnosed with Parkinsons.

Parkinsonism and Parkinsons disease are two terms that can be confusing. According to the Parkinsons Foundation, parkinsonism is a term used to describe a group of neurological conditions that present with motor symptoms that are also found in Parkinsons disease. Parkinsons disease is the most common form of parkinsonism.

Because the chief symptoms of Parkinsons are also found in other types of parkinsonism, it can be difficult for a physician to make a definitive diagnosis in the beginning of the disease process. Parkinsonism can have several different causes that can be totally different from Parkinsons disease.

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What Is The Difference Between Parkinsons And Myasthenia Gravis

Parkinsons disease is a movement disorder characterized by a decline in the dopamine level of the brain whereas myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the production of antibodies that block the transmission of impulses across the neuromuscular junction. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease but Parkinsons is not considered as an autoimmune disease. This is the main difference between Parkinsons and myasthenia gravis. The appearance of Lewy bodies and loss of dopaminergic neurons in pars compacta of the substantia nigra region of midbrain are the hallmark morphological changes in Parkinsons disease. In contrast, the block of the transmission of nervous impulses at the neuromuscular junction due to the action of autoantibodies is the pathological basis of myasthenia gravis.

In addition, there is no laboratory test for the exact identification of Parkinsons disease. However, investigations such as Anti ACh receptor antibodies in the serum, tensilon test, imaging studies, ESR and CRP can help to diagnose myasthenia gravis. Furthermore, anticholinesterases such as pyridostigmine, immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids, Thymectomy, Plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulins can help to manage myasthenia gravis. On the other hand, drugs such as dopamine receptor agonists and levodopa, which restore the dopamine activity of the brain, can alleviate motor symptoms in Parkinsons.

Characteristic Clinical Features Of Msa

MSA is a nonheritable neurodegenerative disorder characterized by parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia and idiopathic orthostatic hypotension , a syndrome complex first recognized by Oppenheimer, who noted overlap in the pathology of sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy and striatonigral degeneration . Depending on the predominant signs and symptoms, MSA is subdivided into MSA-C, for those with predominant degeneration in cerebellar circuitry and ataxia, and MSA-P for those with predominant degeneration in the basal ganglia with parkinsonism . Autonomic dysfunction is required for the clinical diagnosis of MSA, but as noted above can also be seen in PD. It is rare in PSP.

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Parkinsons Vs Multiple Sclerosis: How Are These Conditions Different

Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis are two medical conditions that are frequently confused with each other since they are both progressive and have similar symptoms, but there are some significant differences between the two.

Here we will discuss the difference and similarities between the two.

Types Of Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s & Huntington’s: What’s the difference?

Parkinsons disease is caused by the dysfunction and death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Parkinsonism is a broader term that encompasses Parkinsons disease itself, as well as other conditions that cause motor symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinsons, like tremor and abnormally slow movement.

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Multiple System Atrophy Formerly Called Shy

As predicted by the name of this parkinsonism, multiple system atrophy affects multiple systems of the body. It affects both the motor skills movement system and the involuntary system of the body. Though the symptoms can often be treated with medications, there is no cure. In addition, there are no drugs that are able to slow the progress of MSA.

How Is Parkinsons Disease Treated

There is no cure for Parkinsons disease. However, medications and other treatments can help relieve some of your symptoms. Exercise can help your Parkinsons symptoms significantly. In addition, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy can help with walking and balance problems, eating and swallowing challenges and speech problems. Surgery is an option for some patients.

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What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. Symptoms can take years to develop, and most people live for many years with the disease. The symptoms caused by Parkinsons include an ongoing loss of motor control as well as a wide range of non-motor symptoms .

Whats The Difference Between Progressive Supranuclear Palsy And Parkinsons

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People with PSP generally progress more rapidly than people with Parkinsons. A person with Parkinsons tends to lean forward while a person with PSP tends to lean backward. Tremors are common in people with Parkinsons and rare in people with PSP. Speech and swallowing abnormalities are more severe and show up sooner in those living with PSP.

For more information on progressive supranuclear palsy, read this fact sheet and insights from the CurePSP organization website.

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What Is Huntingtons Disease

Huntington disease usually appears in a persons thirties or forties. Early signs and symptoms can include depression, irritability, poor coordination, small involuntary movements, and trouble learning new information or making decisions. Many people with Huntington disease develop involuntary, repetitive jerking movements known as chorea. As the disease, progresses symptoms become more pronounced. People with this disorder also experience changes in personality and decrease in thinking abilities. Affected individuals usually live about 15 to 20 years after signs and symptoms begin.

There is no care for this disorder, and it is largely determined genetically due to mutations in the HTT gene. The juvenile form of this disorder also exists. Chorea can be controlled with medicines. However, other higher function abnormalities are difficult to control.

Coronal section from an MR brain scan of a patient with HD.

Characteristic Clinical Features Of Pd

PD can be diagnosed with considerable accuracy, particularly by neurologists specializing in diagnosis and management of movement disorders , when robust clinical criteria are used such as those of the Queen Square Parkinson Disease Brain Bank, which have inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria as well as presence of supportive features . Asymmetry is an important supportive feature in that the other major degenerative parkinsonian disorders MSA and PSP are usually symmetrical. Response to dopamine replacement therapy is typical of PD, whereas MSA and PSP have limited response to such therapy. The exclusion criteria also include absence of family history of movement disorder, but this is criterion is often ignored today given increasing evidence of genetic determinants of PD .

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What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms

Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinsons disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didnt exercise or didnt start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinsons, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.

Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments whether medicines or deep brain stimulation are optimal and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.

What Is Myasthenia Gravis

What is the difference between PSP and Parkinson’s disease?

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the production of antibodies that block the transmission of impulses across the neuromuscular junction. These antibodies bind to the postsynaptic Ach receptors, preventing the binding of Ach in the synaptic cleft to those receptors. Women are five times more affected by this condition than males. There is also a significant association with other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, and autoimmune thyroiditis.

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Environmental Factors And Exposures

Exposure to pesticides and a history of head injury have each been linked with PD, but the risks are modest. Never drinking caffeinated beverages is also associated with small increases in risk of developing PD.

Low concentrations of urate in the blood is associated with an increased risk of PD.

Drug-induced parkinsonism

Different medical drugs have been implicated in cases of parkinsonism. Drug-induced parkinsonism is normally reversible by stopping the offending agent. Drugs include:

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