Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease — UPDRS

Diagnosing Parkinson's DiseaseMaking an accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is often difficult, especially in its early stages. There are no standard diagnostic tests for Parkinson’s, so the diagnosis often rests on clinical information obtained through a careful neurological history and physical examination.

Once Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed, a questionnaire called the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) is often used to follow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

The UPDRS is made up of the following sections:

  • Part I: Evaluation of Mentation, behavior and mood
  • Part II: Evaluation of activities of daily living (including speech, swallowing, handwriting, dressing, hygiene, falling, salivating, turning in bed, walking, tremor and cutting food)
  • Part III: Clinician scored motor examination
  • Part IV: Evaluation of complications of therapy
  • Part V: Modified Hoehn and Yahr staging of the severity of Parkinson’s disease
  • Part VI: Schwab and England activities of daily living scale evaluation

Following the UPDRS scores over time provides insight into a person’s disease progression.

A copy of the UPDRS can be obtained here.