New tool facilitates better diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in clinical settings

The European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) has launched the Parkinson’s Disease Composite Scale (PDCS) in clinical settings in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The PDCS is a newly-developed tool for healthcare professionals – particularly Parkinson’s specialist neurologists – to help them measure the severity of both motor and non-motor symptoms experienced by people with Parkinson’s in a timely way.

The PDCS is conducted in roughly 15-20 minutes, making the consultation between the patient and their neurologist much faster, therefore freeing up time within the consultation to discuss other issues important to the individual. The PDCS has been designed to complement – and not substitute – existing rating scales, which remain fundamental for a comprehensive assessment of Parkinson’s. The results of the first validation study were published in January 2018 in the European Journal of Neurology. Results of the study concluded that the PDCS appears to be a feasible, acceptable, reproducible and valid scale. The second validation study involved 22 centres and 700 people with Parkinson’s across 14 countries, and is currently available online in the European Journal of Neurology.

Russell Patten, the Secretary General of EPDA said: “The PDCS is a game changer when it comes to helping healthcare professionals evaluate the real needs of patients. We are calling on healthcare professionals to use the scale and provide feedback, as we seek to increase uptake of the PDCS across Europe.”

Professor K Ray Chaudhuri, Professor of Neurology/Movement Disorders at King's College London added: “The Parkinson’s Disease Composite Scale responds to an unmet need. Until now there has been no scale that captures both the motor and non-motor symptoms within a short timeframe, enabling this assessment to be carried out in the middle of a busy clinic. The PDCS allows us to do that.”

The EPDA is actively working with national Parkinson’s organisations in these five countries to promote the PDCS, with a view to expanding the rollout to more countries over the course of 2019 and 2020.

Further information about the PDCS can be found here:

To learn more about EPDA, please visit

For more information, please contact Francesco De Renzis at