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Parkinson's Mis-diagnosis
geoduck posted:
My father's head shook my entire life. For over 50-years, since he was in a car accident, his head shook side to side. He never had any ill effects from it. He could concentrate, fly airplanes, play sports, compete in marathons, hunt, fish... you get the idea. His brain was sharp. He was a healthy man.

A couple of years ago, while moving some things from an attic, a heavy box was dropped on his head. It knocked him unconscious. When he regained consciousness, his arms and legs started shaking, but his head has not shaken since.

His doctor says all the shaking is Parkinson's Disease, but Parkinson's does not run in our family, nor did any previous doctor suggest it was anything but tremors.

His mother (my grandma) is still alive at 98, and great-grandma lived over 100. Before the "box" he was healthy, running 3 miles a day.

Now, he's medicated. At the age of 76, it seems the doctors don't want to consider there is something else going on. Parkinson's seems like the easy diagnosis to me. There have been brain scans and tests performed, and when I get him one-on-one, he tells me the medicine makes his brain feel foggy.

It kills me to watch this happen, and I never thought I would turn to an online forum for thoughts or advice. I just don't know what I can do to help. He lives 3,000 miles away, and step-mom has full control of the medical care. He seems not to care.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
atti_editor responded:
Hi geoduck,

I am sorry to hear of what has happened to your father. Here are some frequently asked questions about Parkinson's that addresses the differences between essential tremors and Parkinson's. This overview on Parkinson's does say that "if you don't respond to the drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, it's possible you may have another type of movement disorder that causes the same type of symptoms. Doing additional tests can help your doctor determine if some other problem is causing your parkinsonian symptoms." It may be a good idea to get your father a second opinion if you haven't already and you believe that his symptoms are not the result of Parkinson's. Please let us know how you and your father are doing!

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