People with the brain disease Parkinson's face is waiting longer to be seen by NHS Grampian than anywhere else in Scotland, a charity has said.
Parkinson UK said the figures for the area showed that it took about 40 weeks for 95% of patients to have their first appointment.
The charity organization said that nearly 1300 of the 12,400 people in Scotland were living with the disease in Grampian.
NHS Grampian said that a neurological examination was in progress.
Parkinson produces toxic proteins to accumulate in the brain, which then kill the nerves, especially those related to movement.
- Parkinson's disease is incurable
- It affects 128,000 people in the UK
- Apart from damaging the movement, it affects the senses, memory and mood
The British director of Parkinson, Annie Macleod, said: "This is the first time we have shed such a searchlight on Parkinson's services in every part of Scotland.
"We recognize that people who care for Parkinson's do an incredible amount of work, but we have been challenged by people with Parkinson's to discover whether their individual experiences are unique or part of a larger and more worrying image.
"There must be at least 40 Parkinson nurses throughout Scotland, instead we have less than 30. Grampian has the equivalent of 3.5 nurses, almost a shortage of what it should have."
She said that delays in diagnosis caused anxiety for patients and their families and that neurology services routinely missed the Scottish Government's 12-week target for new referrals to outpatients in all but the smallest islands health councils.
"These goals are usually missed by a large margin, and NHS Grampian is the worst performing board in Scotland, and last summer people needing a neurologist at NHS Grampian needed 42 weeks to do this," she said.
& # 39; Aware of challenges & # 39;
Mike Powell of Aboyne, who has been living with Parkinson's for five years, said: "Despite the efforts of the people in the NHS who we see working in Grampian, there is a real sense in the Parkinson community that we are all too easily faced in terms of resources and investments.
"Parkinson does not go away quickly, not for me and the community and not for the NHS either."
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: "A discussion is currently under way to look at all aspects of neurology and related services.
"We are aware of the challenges, especially in the area of staff, which affect patients who wait longer than we would like to be seen."