Reviews in Clinical Gerontology

Clinical geriatrics

Parkinson's disease – pathology, aetiology and diagnosis

Graeme JA Macpheea1 c1 and David A Stewarta1

a1 Department of Medicine for the Elderly/Movement Disorders Clinic, Southern General Hospital, Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow, UK

Summary

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. There is an increasing incidence and prevalence with advancing age and more cases are predicted as the population ages. Because of likely differing aetiology, genetics and pathology in individual patients, as well as confounding co-morbidities, diagnosis can be difficult even for specialists. We present an overview of the pathology, aetiology and differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in older people. The importance of specialist medical input in diagnosis is emphasized.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: GJA Macphee, Consultant/Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine for the Elderly/Movement Disorders Clinic, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF. Email: Graeme.Macphee@ggc.scot.nhs.uk