Parkinsonism

June 2017


Definition


Parkinsonism is a syndrome combining the main symptoms present in Parkinson's disease. It therefore consists of tremors, increased muscle tone called hypertension, and akinesia, slowness in the initiation and execution of movements. Aside from Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disease caused by the progressive destruction of certain neurons in the brain, which of course is the same case for parkinsonism, other causes can cause parkinsonism. These causes include Wilson's disease, due to an overload of copper accumulated in the body, parkinsonian syndrome due to neuroleptics in the use of these drugs, and other degenerative diseases such as Lewy body dementia.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms of parkinsonism include: tremors;
  • hypertonia, exaggerated muscle tone in certain muscles;
  • akinesia, with movements performed slowly and after a long preparation.

Moreover, depending on the disease at the origin of parkinsonian syndrome, other signs may be present including, cognitive impairment in dementia with Lewy bodies, signs of cirrhosis of the liver in Wilson's advanced...

Diagnosis


The diagnosis of parkinsonism is through careful observation of the symptoms of the disease, the combination of the above three main symptoms being sufficient to make the diagnosis. It is more complicated to determine the disease that caused the parkinsonism. In the case of repeatedly used neuroleptics, the disappearance of symptoms at the stopping of the latter points to medicine as a cause, whereas Wilson's disease is confirmed by the discovery of characteristic signs in the examination of the cornea, and the diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies can be guided by neuropsychological tests. Frequently, an MRI will be performed.

Treatment


Treating the symptoms of parkinsonism is not possible if the cause is not identified and addressed specifically. Treatment will consist of, for example, stopping the use of neuroleptics, or a specific drug called D-penicillamine for Wilson's disease. Degenerative diseases are a lot more difficult to treat.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on July 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM by Jeff.
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