I had been diagnosed with PD and was beiing treated with L-DOPA for over a year when I accidently ruptured my left eardrum. (I was simply scratching my ear with a finger at the time.) The sudden and intense ear-pain left little doubt what had happened. My ear specialist repaired the damage on the next day in his office (a $900 visit) and strongly suggested that I have an MRI exam to assure that their was no middle or inner ear infection. There was none, but the MRI revealed that sometime earlier I had had a stroke that I hadn't previously noticed. The stroke appeared as a small, black area on the left-side, rear-part of my brain. It was in a perfect location to cause Ataxia (with loss of balance symptoms very similar to PD). On examining the MRI scans, my neurologist immediatly revised his earlier PD diagnosis and discontinued my PD medication.