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Funded Studies

Validation of the Movement Disorders Society’s Clinical Criteria of Parkinson’s Disease

Study Rationale:
Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other causes of parkinsonism is not always an easy task for physicians. An accurate diagnosis, however, is an essential aspect of care for people with Parkinson’s and of research trials, where the inclusion of incorrectly diagnosed patients can result in trial failure. Recently, the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (MDS) created new standard diagnostic criteria to improve the reliability of diagnosis. In this study we will test the validity of these criteria for diagnosing PD. 

We will assess the diagnostic value of the new MDS criteria and test them against the diagnosis of an expert and the previously established UK Brain Bank Criteria.

Study Design:
The MDS criteria will be tested on 600 patients from 10 centers on different continents. After a phase of cognitive pretesting, during which the criteria are applied to a small group of people with PD, patients with a diagnosis of parkinsonism will be evaluated both by a clinical expert and a resident applying the new criteria as well as the UK Brain Bank Criteria. In a follow-up visit two years later, the diagnoses will be reevaluated.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:             
These new criteria have the potential to facilitate and standardize the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease to detect patients with PD earlier and more reliably for earlier treatment and accurate involvement in trials.

Next Steps for Development:
Provided that the new MDS criteria prove to be superior to former diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, these criteria will be internationally implemented for clinical routine and research.


  • Ronald B. Postuma, MD, MSc

    Montreal PQ Canada

  • Daniela Berg, MD

    Tuebingen Germany

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