Refer all suspected Parkinson's

GPs should refer all suspected cases of Parkinson's disease to specialists rather than initiating treatment themselves, according to NICE.

The final NICE clinical guideline on Parkinson's disease, issued this week, also states that GPs need to start commissioning specialist services for Parkinson's, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and palliative care.

Patients thought to have early Parkinson's disease should be seen by an expert for diagnosis within six weeks, with a referral time of two weeks recommended for those with signs of later stage disease or complications.

Patients with Parkinson's disease should have their diagnosis reviewed every six to 12 months.

The NICE guidance advises GPs to suspect the condition in people with tremor, stiffness, slowness and balance problems.

But it warns that essential tremor, which can develop with age, can be misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease, as can the effects of multiple mini-strokes. A recent study from North Wales suggested that the error rate of community-based diagnosis was almost 50 per cent.

A first-line drug treatment for Parkinson's disease was not stipulated in the guideline, as there is no strong evidence base for which classes of drugs are best in different stages of the disease.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

COVID-19 vaccination programme widens to over-70s and clinically vulnerable

COVID-19 vaccination programme widens to over-70s and clinically vulnerable

People aged over 70 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be offered...

Hoarse voice - red flag symptoms

Hoarse voice - red flag symptoms

Dr Suneeta Kochhar provides an overview into the red flag symptoms to look for in...

Epistaxis - red flag symptoms

Epistaxis - red flag symptoms

Dr Suneeta Kochhar provides an overview of red flag symptoms to look for in a patient...

Former Brexit secretary backs vitamin D supplements to beat COVID-19

Former Brexit secretary backs vitamin D supplements to beat COVID-19

The NHS should provide 10 times the current daily recommended amount of vitamin D...

Identifying patients experiencing domestic violence and abuse in general practice

Identifying patients experiencing domestic violence and abuse in general practice

Dr Vasumathy Sivarajasingam describes a pilot project in her practice that used a...