Parkinsonism

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Related to Parkinsonian: Parkinsonian gait, parkinsonian syndrome

Parkinsonism:

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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.

Parkinsonism

 

(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.

REFERENCES

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

E. I. KANDEL

parkinsonism

[′pär·kən·sə‚niz·əm]
(medicine)
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are several different types of parkinsonian syndromes, with Parkinson's disease being the most well-known.
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The Parkinsonian syndromes often exhibit overlapping signs and symptoms and therefore, can be very difficult to diagnose correctly.
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Patients then may experience on-off episodes, in which they abruptly switch from normal to Parkinsonian movement and back again.
Mild electrical pulses are transmitted to these structures, which are overactive and believed to cause Parkinsonian motor dysfunction.
14] Juncos recommended that high-potency antipsychotics such as haloperidol be avoided because of their rapid and often profound aggravation of parkinsonian symptoms, which include tremors, stooped posture, rigidity, poor balance, and slowness in body movements (bradykinesia).
And then he did fall, into inevitable slow motion and eventual Parkinsonian twilight, where he now resides with patient irony, still fending off the knockout punch, awaiting the final decision.
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Salas-Gonzalez proposes to develop brain image processing with alpha-stable distributions with applications to intensity normalization, segmentation and diagnosis of Parkinsonian syndrome and Alzheimer~s disease.