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Parkinson’s disease is often misdiagnosed as essential tremor in people with paraquat exposure

Every year, approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the United States.

However, up to 30% of individuals with this condition initially receive a wrong diagnosis, which is why they need to seek a second and even a third opinion.

People with a history of paraquat exposure are at high risk of developing Parkinson's disease, as this herbicide is very toxic.

Exposure to paraquat increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 250% in agricultural workers. Therefore, the family members of people who worked with paraquat need to keep a close eye on their health and encourage them to visit multiple specialists in order to receive a correct and accurate diagnosis.

Parkinson's disease is often mistaken for a condition known as essential tremor, whose symptoms are very similar to the disease.

What is essential tremor?

There are 10 million people throughout the country who are currently living with essential tremor. This condition is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking.

While it can affect nearly any part of the body, it usually occurs in the hands, particularly when sufferers are trying to perform simple tasks such as drinking from a glass of water or tying their shoelaces.

People over the age of 40 are more likely to develop essential tremors, but the condition can occur at any age. Although it is not a dangerous disorder, it can cause great difficulty in the daily life of the sufferer and significantly lower their quality of life.

The most common symptoms of essential tremor, which are very similar to those of Parkinson's disease, include:

  • tremors that usually occur on one side of the body
  • the disorder worsens with movement
  • the disorder occurs firstly in the hands, affecting one hand or both hands
  • it can include a "yes-yes" or "no-no" motion of the head
  • the disorder may be aggravated by emotional stress, fatigue, caffeine, or temperature extremes
  • tremors occur when the person moves and are less noticeable when they rest
  • difficulty performing simple tasks with your hands, such as writing or using tools
  • shaking or quivering sound in the voice
  • in rare instances, the tremors will also affect the legs or feet

The difference between essential tremor and Parkinson's disease

There are many people who associate essential tremors with Parkinson's disease, but the conditions are different. The following are the key aspects in which essential tremor and Parkinson's disease are different:

  • the timing of tremors: while essential tremor of the hands typically occurs when you use your hands, tremors from Parkinson's disease are most prominent when the hands are at your sides or resting in your lap
  • associated conditions: essential tremor rarely causes additional health problems, whereas Parkinson's disease is associated with stooped posture, slow movement, and shuffling gait
  • the affected parts of the body: while essential tremor primarily involves your hands, head, and voice, Parkinson's disease tremors usually begin in your hands and can affect your legs, chin and other parts of your body

Because the symptoms of essential tremor and Parkinson's disease overlap, it may be very challenging to assign a correct diagnosis. For this reason, the family members of people with a history of paraquat exposure should encourage them to seek a second and even a third opinion from medical specialists.

Not only will the right diagnosis allow you to receive effective treatment for your condition, but it may also make you eligible for recovering compensation from the manufacturers of paraquat. To become eligible for filing a paraquat claim, you must have a Parkinson's disease diagnosis and a history of exposure to paraquat in occupational settings.

Quality assistance in filing a claim for paraquat exposure

With over 35 years of experience in evaluating personal injury and product liability claims, the team of professionals at Atraxia Law is ready to help you determine whether you are eligible for compensation if you struggle with Parkinson's disease as a result of paraquat exposure.

We will thoroughly evaluate your case and promptly let you know if you can file a claim to recover the financial compensation you deserve.