Originally Posted by toyL
Welcome, Patti. If your husband has been receiving PD care from a neurologist for the past 17 yrs, I would say it is highly unlikely that he has been misdiagnosed. The doc(s) knows exactly what to look for as time goes by. Your husband's symptoms may "appear" to improve as he backs off certain meds, but this may simply be a temporary result of "not" taking the meds--if that makes any sense. Most every PD patient will or should take a brief "holiday" from taking sinemet, for example. I have had PD for about 17 yrs; onset of symptoms at age 34. I "feel" better for a few days when I take a 5-7 day break from the sinemet, but it is kind of risky business.
A member here, Harley, was dx'd with PD at age 27...she is now 54 and has been told she does NOT, repeat, NOT, have PD. She has gone 27 years, half of her entire life, taking PD meds and dealing with the side effects and going to neuros and all the joy that being labeled a PWP brings, to be told now, at age 54, everyone was wrong.
Harley is not alone, you would be surprised at the number of people who are misdx'd with PD. The "estimate" is 30-35%. I think with some of the newer tests that may come out, this will change, but there are a whole lotta folk out there right now living the PD nightmare who may not have to be. You can search this forum for Harley's posts, and this forum and the PD sites for stats on the approximate mis-dx rate. You can understand why it is so high when you realize that the only "definitive" test for PD is the finding of Lewy Bodies in the brain on autopsy. If they find them, you had PD and your dx is post-humously confirmed: if they do not find them, you were mis-dx'd (big consolation after you are gone). Complicating this is the fact that they find Lewy Bodies in the brains of people who never had a single symptom of PD....and that people who manifested PD very strongly have been found to not have Lewy Bodies in their brain at death.
I take all of this to mean that we still have no real idea of what we are dealing with