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Aetiological analysis of 425 patients referred to an outpatient neurology service due to tremor or Parkinsonism
INTRODUCTION. Movement disorders are a common reason for visits to outpatient neurology departments. This study has two objectives. The first is to analyse the diagnoses of patients referred to the neurology service due to tremor or Parkinsonism. The second aim is to analyse whether such patients are referred from primary care correctly or incorrectly.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. The study examines patients referred from primary care to the neurology service in a medical specialty centre because of tremor or Parkinsonism. The final diagnoses established by the neurologist were analysed and patient referral was also analysed using a set of previously agreed criteria.
RESULTS. The sample consisted of 425 consecutive patients who were referred from primary care due to tremor (n = 294) or Parkinsonism (n = 131). The most common diagnoses were Parkinson’s disease (n = 211; 50%), essential tremor (n = 157; 37%) and pharmacological Parkinsonism (n = 23; 5%). Referral was considered to be incorrect in 39 patients and correct in 388 cases (91%). The causes of incorrect referrals were: pharmacological Parkinsonism (n = 23), anxiety that was not treated in primary care (n = 12) and hypothyroidism that went undiagnosed in primary care (n = 4).