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Related to Parkinson's syndrome: parkinsonian syndrome, Parkinsonian disorders


see Parkinson's diseaseParkinson's disease
or Parkinsonism,
degenerative brain disorder first described by the English surgeon James Parkinson in 1817. When there is no known cause, the disease usually appears after age 40 and is referred to as Parkinson's disease; a number of genes have
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Parkinson’s disease), a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system characterized by motor disorders. First described in 1817 by the English physician J. Parkinson under the name “shaking palsy,” it is one of the most common neurological diseases, primarily of older people. Its causes are diverse and include encephalitides, cerebral atherosclerosis, head injury, and poisoning by barbiturates or carbon monoxide. The cause cannot be determined in almost half the cases.

In parkinsonism, there is a deficiency of dopamine, a product of catecholamine metabolism, in the subcortical structures of the brain, which results in disruption of the balance between the main systems of brain transmitter substances and in lack of control of movements. Morphological study of the brains of those afflicted reveals destruction of substantia negra cells in the subcortical structures. The principal symptoms are a constant tremor of arms and legs, a masklike facial expression, salivation, increased tonus of all the muscles and general rigidity, and slowness of movements, in particular, a slow gait with small steps.

Treatment with L-dopa, which normalizes the concentration of dopamine, is effective but causes side effects in some patients. Central-acting cholinolytics are used in the initial stages. Surgery is indicated if drug therapy is ineffective. Brain surgery is performed by the stereotaxic technique, which involves destruction of a small area in the subcortical structures. It is quite safe and usually relieves all symptoms of parkinsonism for many years.


Kandel’, E. I. Parkinsonizm i ego khirurgicheskoe lechenie. Moscow, 1965. (Bibliography.)
Cooper, J. Parkinsonism: Its Medical and Surgical Therapy. Springfield, Ill., 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A clinical state characterized by tremor at a rate of three to eight tremors per second, with “pill-rolling” movements of the thumb common, muscular rigidity, dyskinesia, hypokinesia, and reduction in number of spontaneous and autonomic movements; produces a masked facies, disturbances of posture, gait, balance, speech, swallowing, and muscular strength. Also known as paralysis agitans; Parkinson's disease.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's syndrome. What is important for the general practitioner?
Ali was suffering from both a destructive medication and the early stages of Parkinson's syndrome. That, plus his advanced age, made it seem as if an impostor were occupying his body.
The diagnosis of Parkinson's syndrome, which has been linked to head trauma, came about three years after Ali retired from boxing in 1981.
Though it saddens me to see him diminished so painfully by Parkinson's Syndrome, it is enough that he is here, that he made the effort to visit a country, in all probability for the final time, that loved him more than most.
"It reminds me a bit of the boxer Mohammad Ali suffering from Parkinson's Syndrome. Both Thatcher and Ali dominated their respective professions and it's a shame to see them the way they are now."
Arguably the greatest boxer of all time, mighty Mohammed Ali, now suffers from Parkinson's syndrome. Early in his career, Frank Bruno was told he could lose his sight if he fought again after his eye was damaged by too many blows.
The man they once called the Louisville Lip doesn't say too much these days, after being afflicted with Parkinson's Syndrome.
Ali's shuffling, mumbling condition, the result of Parkinson's Syndrome, turned the spotlight once again on the dangers and moral uncertainty of the sport.
It is better to try to understand at this milestone in his life what Ali means to boxing and the world right now, as he begins the path towards old age struck down by the mentally and physically crippling Parkinson's syndrome.
He was asked if he as any fears about finishing his fighting career in the same sad, shuffling condition as Ali, who shakes and stutters with what is described as Parkinson's Syndrome.
The Rome gold medallist, three-time world heavyweight champion and role model to millions, sadly in the grip of Parkinson's Syndrome, trembled under the weight of the Olympic torch.
Laila insists she is not put off by the physical condition of her father, who shakes and slurs his speech because he suffers from Parkinson's Syndrome after his glittering but brutal career.