Why choose Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


Mayo Clinic accepts appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System sites.

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  • Expertise and experience. Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating people with corticobasal degeneration and other neurological conditions. Corticobasal degeneration is estimated to occur in about 5 to 7 out of 100,000 people. Mayo Clinic doctors evaluate and treat more than 20 people with corticobasal degeneration each year.
  • Teamwork. At Mayo Clinic, an integrated team of doctors trained in nervous system conditions (neurologists), nervous system conditions and psychological conditions (neuropsychologists), nervous system conditions and radiology (neuroradiologists), speech and language (speech-language pathologists), mental health conditions (psychiatrists), physical medicine and rehabilitation, and sleep medicine evaluates and treats your condition.
  • Individual treatment program. Your treatment team will tailor your treatment program to your individual needs.
  • Newest research and developments. Mayo Clinic doctors provide state-of-the-art care and access to new developments and appropriate clinical trials.


Mayo Clinic doctors trained in nervous system conditions (neurologists) and other areas work together to evaluate your condition.

To diagnose corticobasal degeneration, your doctor will review your symptoms to exclude other conditions that may be causing your signs and symptoms. Your doctor will conduct a neurological examination and check for signs of other conditions.

Corticobasal degeneration may be difficult to diagnose because it has similar symptoms to Parkinson's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and other conditions.

Your doctor may order several tests to diagnose your condition and rule out other conditions.

  • Mental status and neuropsychological tests. Your doctor may ask you questions and conduct tests to measure your thinking skills (cognitive skills).

    Your doctor may ask your family members questions about your emotional state and daily routines. You also may have a psychiatric assessment to test for behavior changes, depression or other mental illness.

  • Speech and language assessments. Doctors may assess your ability to speak and understand speech, and read and write, to determine which communication abilities may be affected.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain. Your doctor may use this test to detect abnormalities or changes in your brain.
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan). A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of your brain. Your doctor may use this test to detect abnormalities or changes in your brain.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan or single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). In these tests, a doctor injects you with a small amount of radioactive material and places emission detectors on your brain. PET provides visual images of brain activity. SPECT measures blood flow to various regions of your brain.
  • Levodopa therapy. Doctors may give you levodopa, a drug to treat Parkinson's disease, and evaluate your response. Symptoms of corticobasal degeneration generally don't significantly improve with levodopa.


Mayo Clinic doctors trained in nervous system conditions (neurologists) and other areas coordinate care for people with corticobasal degeneration.

Your doctors will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs. Corticobasal degeneration can't be cured, but doctors can help you manage your condition.

You may have physical, occupational and speech therapy to potentially improve your daily functioning and quality of life. You may also work with a nutrition specialist (dietitian) to manage your diet and nutrition.

Medications may help manage some of your symptoms, such as tremor and rigidity. Clonazepam (Klonopin), propranolol (Innopran XL, Inderal LA), gabapentin (Neurontin) and others may be prescribed to manage tremor.

Medications such as baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal) may help manage rigidity.

Your treatment team will educate you and your family about corticobasal degeneration. Your doctors will work closely with your primary doctor in providing your follow-up care.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for neurology and neurosurgery in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.

March 12, 2014