Parkinson’s disease, often misdiagnosed as corticobasal syndrome

By Treven Pyles

Posted on March 15th, 2021

Because corticobasal syndrome involves symptoms such as stiffness, tremor at rest, slowness of movement and postural instability, people with Parkinson's disease may initially receive this wrong diagnosis. For this reason, if you have a history of paraquat exposure, it is essential to seek a second opinion from a different medical specialist.

As a form of atypical parkinsonism, corticobasal syndrome has multiple symptoms in common with Parkinson's disease, which makes assigning a correct diagnosis challenging for medical professionals. Corticobasal syndrome leads to the gradual loss of nerve cells in the surface of the brain, as well as in deep structures. Because these parts of the brain control movement, people with corticobasal syndrome will experience problems with mobility. The most common symptom of this brain disorder is the gradual loss of use of one hand or leg. However, people with corticobasal syndrome may also experience the following symptoms, which are very similar to those of Parkinson's disease:

  • abnormal postures of their limbs or neck
  • painful rigidity
  • muscle jerking
  • difficulties with concentration and behavior
  • irreversible muscle contractures
  • language dysfunction
  • difficulty opening or moving their eyes
  • slurred speech
  • memory and visual problems

Since the symptoms of corticobasal syndrome mirror those of Parkinson's disease, people with a history of paraquat exposure need to seek another opinion from a medical expert if they initially receive this diagnosis, as they are more likely to develop Parkinson's disease over the years. Their family members need to pay close attention to their health and encourage them to visit multiple specialists in order to receive the correct diagnosis. Up to 30% of people with Parkinson's disease receive a wrong diagnosis upon their first medical appointment. Therefore, if you have a family member who was exposed to paraquat, they need to have their health evaluated by more than one medical professional. Only people with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease qualify for filing a paraquat claim.

How is corticobasal syndrome different than Parkinson's disease?

While corticobasal syndrome is a form of parkinsonism, it is a different brain disorder than Parkinson's disease, which is why medical professionals need to use multiple diagnostic tests and exams when assessing the health of a person with a history of paraquat exposure. A very effective test that can help doctors make the difference between the two conditions is single-photon emission computed tomography. People with corticobasal syndrome will have different parts of the brain affected than those with Parkinson's disease, which a medical professional can see by using this test. The following areas of the brain respond differently in people with corticobasal syndrome than in those with Parkinson's disease:

  • the temporoinsular area
  • the frontal medial area
  • the temporoparietal area

By using single-photon emission computed tomography, medical professionals will be able to see how these parts of the brain react, which will help them make the difference between corticobasal syndrome and Parkinson's disease. Not only will the right diagnosis allow the sufferer to receive the treatment they need, but it may also make them eligible for compensation from the liable paraquat manufacturers. The risk of developing Parkinson's disease in people with paraquat exposure is 250% higher than that of the general population. Therefore, chances are that your family member is struggling with this brain disorder and not with corticobasal syndrome if they have a history of paraquat exposure.

File a paraquat claim with the help of our resourceful legal team

The legal team at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. specializes in toxic exposure cases and has the necessary resources and knowledge to help your family member recover the compensation they are entitled to if they were exposed to paraquat and developed Parkinson's disease.

With over 25 years of experience in this area of practice, we will thoroughly assess their situation, a process for which your involvement as a family member is crucial, as people who struggle with this brain disorder usually have a difficult time clearly explaining their situation. The only documents we will need from you are evidence of paraquat exposure and proof of diagnosis, as the rest of the paperwork will be efficiently taken care of by our skilful legal team. Eventually, you will obtain the most favorable outcome for their case if you decide to file their paraquat claim with our help. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly answer your questions.