Parkinson's misdiagnosed as essential tremor in people with paraquat exposure

1 in 4 people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) receive a wrong diagnosis, especially at the early stages of the disease. This is mainly because the symptoms of the condition often mimic those of other diseases, leading PD patients to seek a second opinion from another doctor.

Studies have linked paraquat exposure to a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Incidentally, PD can easily be mistaken for another movement disorder known as essential tremor (ET).

This puts individuals with a history of paraquat exposure at risk of receiving a misdiagnosis and being treated for a condition they do not actually have. An inaccurate diagnosis also hinders a person to identify that their Parkinson’s disease was actually connected to their exposure to paraquat.

If a connection has been established early on between the exposure and the neurological disorder, victims can file a paraquat exposure lawsuit and recover the financial compensation they justly deserve. This can, however, be difficult to figure out on your own.

And this is exactly why it is important to talk to a paraquat attorney as soon as you start noticing complications following exposure. Depending on where you live, there are statute of limitations that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit.

Read on to learn more on how you can be sure that you have a paraquat-related injury, which can make you eligible for filing a claim.

What is essential tremor disorder?

Essential tremor disorder is a brain condition that causes rhythmic shaking in certain parts of the body. The head and trunk may also be affected, but hand shaking is predominantly involved.

This involountary shaking or trembling motion is called a tremor. Essential tremor is not exactly a serious condition, but it can gradually worsen over time and can also be easily confused with Parkinson’s disease.

According to statistics, up to 7 million American struggle with essential tremor. Although its exact cause is still not fully understood, experts point to genetic vulnerabilities as its primary risk factor. People with this brain disorder may display an unsteady stance when walking that results from a lack of coordination while performing voluntary movements.

Moreover, at least half of people diagnosed with essential tremor are also affected by psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. This can further affect a patient’s daily physical and psychological functioning.

What is the difference between essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease?

Essential tremor is a disorder that is often confused with Parkinson’s disease, and vice versa. However, the two conditions have distinguishable characteristics. The differences between essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease are listed below.

  • Occurrence of tremor. People with essential tremor usually experience tremors when in motion, such as when doing tasks with the use of their hands. Tremor in PD patients often occur during inactivity or when they’re sitting or lying down.
  • Parts of the body involved. ET most commonly affects the hands, head, legs, and voice box while the tremor seen in PD may affect the upper or lower extremities but never the head or the voice.
  • Genetic vulnerability. Around half of essential tremor cases are influenced by genetics while family history is only a factor in about 10 to 15 percent of PD cases.
  • Associated health risks.┬áThere are no other health problems linked to essential tremor disorder. Parkinson’s disease, on the other hand, is associated with slowness of movement, posture problems, and gait impairments.
  • Progression.┬áBoth essential tremor and Parkinson’s tend to worsen over time, but unlike PD, ET does not reduce a person’s lifespan.

Can paraquat cause essential tremors?

Yes, research indicates that pesticide exposure can cause nervous system dysfunction and tremors are one of the indicators of neurotoxic exposure.

Studies indicate that chemicals such as pesticides and organochlorine pesticides can induce tremors in humans and animals.

It is worth noting, however, that experts still consider genetics as the main risk factor for developing essential tremor. To date, only a small number of studies have associated pesticide exposure to an increased risk of developing ET. More research may still be needed to confirm this link.

What To Do If You Were Misdiagnosed with Essential Tremor

If you or your loved one were recently exposed to the paraquat herbicide and are starting to notice symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, you should talk to a healthcare provider first and foremost.

And if you believe you may have received a misdiagnosis, it’s important to seek for a second or third opinion to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition.

Once it has been determined that you suffer from PD and you suspect it may be due to prolonged exposure to paraquat, you should immediately consult a paraquat attorney who can evaluate your case and determine if you have a case against the manufacturers of the toxic chemical.

Do you qualify for a paraquat lawsuit?

One of the criteria for joining the paraquat litigation is that you should have a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and a history of occupational exposure to paraquat. This does not mean, however, that only pesticide applicators may be eligible to file a claim.

Recent studies have actually revealed that the negative effects of exposure to the weed killer paraquat are not only limited to pesticide applicators. In fact, even residents living within 500 meters of a field where paraquat is being sprayed can also suffer the repercussions of being exposed to the weed killer.

Other studies have also revealed that the harmful effects of paraquat dichloride exposure can affect:

  • People with known exposure to farm animals
  • People who consume contaminated well water
  • Individuals living in rural areas

Due to its high levels of toxicity, hundreds of paraquat herbicide lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts across the country. In June 2021, all federally filed paraquat cases were consolidated into the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Paraquat toxic exposure lawsuits are being filed everyday. If you believe you have a claim against the makers of paraquat, you can contact us today and explore your legal options with us. We will put you in touch with a group of like-minded attorneys who only want one thing: recover the financial compensation you justly deserve while you focus on your recovery.

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