Does Black vs. White race affect practitioners’ appraisal of Parkinson’s disease?

Publication date: Jul 07, 2023

Black patients are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) at half the rate as White patients. The reasons for this large disparity are unknown. Here, we review evidence that practitioner bias may contribute. A key sign of PD is hypomimia or decreased facial expressivity. However, practitioner bias surrounding facial expressivity in Black people versus White people may lead practitioners to appraise Black patients with hypomimia as having higher levels of facial expressivity. Furthermore, practitioner bias may cause them to characterize reduced facial expressivity as being due to negative personality traits, as opposed to a medical sign, in Black patients with hypomimia. This racial bias in the evaluation of hypomimia in Black versus White patients could profoundly impact subsequent referral decisions and rates of diagnosis of PD. Therefore, exploring these differences is expected to facilitate addressing health care disparities through earlier and more accurate detection of PD in Black patients.

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Concepts Keywords
Black Affect
Disease Appraisal
Parkinsons Bias
Race Black
White Expressivity


Type Source Name
disease MESH neurodegenerative disorder
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK Dopamine
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH multiple sclerosis
disease MESH missed diagnosis
disease MESH movement disorder
disease MESH facial expressions
drug DRUGBANK Aspartame
disease MESH morbidity
disease MESH Parkinson disease
pathway KEGG Parkinson disease
drug DRUGBANK Uric Acid
disease MESH gout
disease MESH atherosclerosis
disease MESH Malignant melanoma
drug DRUGBANK Levodopa
disease MESH Parkinsonism
drug DRUGBANK (S)-Des-Me-Ampa
disease MESH chronic conditions
drug DRUGBANK gamma-Aminobutyric acid
disease MESH cancers
disease MESH emergency
drug DRUGBANK Hexachlorophene
pathway REACTOME Reproduction

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