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Diagnosis and pharmacological management of Parkinson's disease


Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder. There is no single, authoritative diagnostic test and diagnosis depends on the presence of a specific set of symptoms and signs, the absence of atypical features, a slowly progressive course, and a response to drug therapy.

Remit and target users

This guideline provides recommendations based on current evidence for best practice in the diagnosis and pharmacological management of Parkinson’s disease. It provides recommendations on: the accuracy of diagnoses carried out by different healthcare professionals; the value of different diagnostic tests for differentiating Parkinson’s disease from other associated conditions; and pharmacological management of motor and non-motor symptoms. It also includes a narrative review of qualitative evidence describing the attitudes, beliefs and opinions of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

This guideline will be of interest to general practitioners, neurologists, physicians, geriatricians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, psychiatrists, patients, their carers and members of the voluntary sector.

How this guideline was developed

This guideline was developed using a standard methodology based on a systematic review of the evidence. Further details can be found in SIGN 50: A Guideline Developer’s Handbook .

Keeping up to date

This guideline was issued in 2010 and will be considered for review in three years. The review history, and any updates to the guideline in the interim period, will be noted in the review report.

If you are aware of any new evidence that would update this guideline please complete a change request form and return to:

Current 3-7 years

Some recommendations may be out of  date, declaration of interests governance may not be in line with current policy.


Full guideline (PDF)

Quick reference guide (PDF)

Apple app

Android app

Supporting material

Register of Interests

Search narrative (PDF)

Copyright permission (PDF)

Contact us

SIGN 113, January 2010
ISBN 978 1 905813 54 4


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