Diagnosing Wearing Off

Wearing off, which is when the effects of levodopa fade out, is generally diagnosed by clinical evaluation by the doctor, using a detailed patient history as the cornerstone of diagnosis.

The diagnosis of wearing off is often challenging. In the early stages, symptoms of wearing off may still be subtle and do not necessarily appear every day, which can make it difficult to recognize what is happening. Symptoms of wearing off also vary greatly between individuals. Non-motor symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, are more difficult for the doctor to identify than motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Open discourse with your doctor is important for the diagnosis of wearing off, as doctors may miss the symptoms during the visit if they are well controlled at the time of the consultation. It is important to discuss your PD symptoms with the doctor and highlight any changes that may have occurred since the last visit10.

How can you help with the diagnosis of wearing off?

A new tool called the ‘Parkinson’s Symptom Check’ has been designed specifically to help the doctor recognize when the effect of levodopa starts fading out and wearing off develops in people with PD.

This Symptom Checker allows people with PD to identify troublesome wearing off symptoms and indicate whether these symptoms disappear with the next dose of their medication. This tool can then serve as a point of reference for the doctor to discuss these symptoms in more depth and to make a diagnosis accordingly.

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