Parkinson’s disease seriously affects many people in West Virginia, and early detection and treatment can make a real difference in outcomes. However, according to one study conducted by a Parkinson’s charity, over 25% of people with the disease were initially misdiagnosed. Parkinson’s affects over 10 million people around the world, but some may be more likely to be misdiagnosed than others. Because Parkinson’s primarily affects older men, women and people under 60 were most likely to receive an incorrect diagnosis.

These misdiagnoses can lead to serious consequences in some cases, especially if they receive the wrong treatment. This was the case in some instances; 26% of the misdiagnosed patients were diagnosed with another illness and, of those, 48% were given treatment for that incorrect diagnosis. In many cases, incorrect treatments can cause serious side effects with long-lasting impact. Of those, 36% were given medication, while 6% were actually given surgery for a disease they did not have. Another 6% were given procedures of various kinds as well s medications. As a result, 34% reported worsened health conditions as a result of the incorrect interventions.

There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinson’s, and many people who were misdiagnosed went to the doctor because they began to notice those signs. One woman said that she had noticed her left foot dragging, a worsening tremor and a change in her voice but said that her doctor did not take her seriously. She was told that her symptoms were psychological despite having a family history of Parkinson’s. After four years, she finally received a correct diagnosis.

The physical and psychological damage that can spring from a doctor’s errors can have long-term effects and lead to costly medical bills. A medical malpractice attorney may help patients who were misdiagnosed to seek compensation for their losses suffered as a result.