Clinical differential diagnosis of parkinsonism

Carlo Colosimo, Dorina Tiple, Alfredo Berardelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several clinical diagnostic criteria are available for differentiating Parkinson's disease from the various forms of parkinsonism, but most clinical features have inadequate sensitivity and positive predictive value in the differential diagnosis of these conditions. Although a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease can be a simple clinical exercise in typical patients with a positive response to dopaminergic treatment, the differential diagnosis versus other parkinsonian disorders can be challenging in some cases, particularly early in the disease. In this paper we have reviewed the motor and nonmotor clinical features that are helpful in the differential diagnosis of the most common forms of parkinsonism. A correct diagnosis in a parkinsonian patient is not simply an academic exercise, but it is crucial for planning any possible therapeutical intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalFuture Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Differential diagnosis
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinsonism
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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