Criteria for Clinically-Established Early Parkinson’s Disease Published

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Using the 2015 clinical diagnostic criteria for Parkinson’s disease (PD), a team of researchers have developed criteria specifically for early Parkinson’s disease, defined as less than 5 years in duration. The goal of developing these criteria was to have highly specific criteria for identifying patients earlier in the disease course for clinical trials; as with all neurodegenerative diseases, it is widely believed that treatments given earlier in the disease course are more likely to be effective. 

The 2015 clinical criteria were published by the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and has been validated to have a high level of accuracy for patients with PD for 5 or more years. In this study, published today in the journal Movement Disorders

The study authors removed all disease duration components from the 2015 criteria and used all red flags in the criteria as absolute exclusions. They next estimated the sensitivity and specificity of the modified criteria in patients selected from a 626‐patient validation study who had disease duration < 5 years. They assessed 18 exclusion criteria that preclude the diagnosis of PD in persons with parkinsonism. Among 212 PD and 152 nonPD patients, the estimated specificity was 95.4%, with 69.8% sensitivity. The authors note that these modified criteria are freely available for use by others in clinical studies. 

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