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The Treatment of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: Who Cares?
  1. Justo García de Yébenes
  1. Professor and Chairman, Fundación para Investigaciones Neurológicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; E-mail: jgyebenes{at}


Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in developed countries, after Alzheimer’s disease, with an estimated prevalence of three patients per 1000 population. The diagnosis is not always easy because it is mostly based on the clinical features that are in part present in several other akinetic rigid syndromes. Moreover, there are no reliable biological markers for confirmation of the disease and nor for the differential diagnosis between the several disorders that can present with the same core syndrome. In fact, there are frequent errors in clinical diagnosis as shown in clinico-pathological series, even in up to 25% of patients regularly examined up to the time of their death by neurologists well-experienced with the disease (Hughes et al. 1992).

Several studies in Europe and other parts of the world have shown there is great discrepancy between the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in different geographical areas depending on whether

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