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How to Prepare for a Movement Disorders Specialist Appointment

How to Prepare for a Movement Disorders Specialist Appointment

Movement disorders specialists are neurologists with additional training in Parkinson's disease, and are often the best kind of doctor to see for a definitive diagnosis or to work with to create an ideal effective treatment plan.

The first step is finding a doctor -- if you're based in the U.S., try our Movement Disorder Specialist Finder. If you don't see one in your area, try your closest large city. It's still helpful to see a specialist even if you can only make the trip a few times a year or less.

Once you've made your appointment, there are several steps you can take to make sure you get the most out of your visit. Our community shared advice on how to prepare for your appointment, and what to expect when you get there.

1. Take along an extra set of ears. Your caregiver, a family member or even a friend can help take notes, ask questions and share his or her perspective on your symptoms.

2. Make a list of questions you’d like to ask, and bring it with you. You can also take notes during the appointment.

3. A week or more before your appointment, chart your symptoms so you'll have you a useful record to share with your doctor. Be as descriptive as you can when sharing symptoms, and include any health complaints you have that you aren't sure are related to Parkinson's, including your moods. Bring all of your pills in the bottles with you as well. One commenter suggested making a short video on your phone to share during the appointment.

4. Be ready for a long day. The doctor will administer both motor and non-motor tests, and the whole process can take a few hours. One commenter said that he schedules appointments for the morning just before his regular medication time so his doctor will get the most accurate sense of his symptoms.

5. If you don't have a good experience, consider seeking out another movement disorder specialist in your area, if there is one. Many people, however, have very positive experiences seeing a specialist for the first time.

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