Differences between PD and atypical parkinsonian disorders

This post may be of interest to those people looking for a short overview of the four atypical parkinsonism disorders – PSP, CBD, MSA, and DLB – or who want to know the key differences in typical Parkinson’s Disease and the atypicals as a group.

An overview of diagnosing atypical parkinsonian disorders was published in the August 2016 issue of Continuum, a journal for neurologists.

The article includes a list of symptoms (“red flags”) that are “predictive of atypical parkinsonism”:

Rapid disease progression
Early gait instability, falls
Absence or paucity of tremor
Irregular jerky tremor, myoclonus
Poor/absent response to levodopa

The article also includes a list of symptoms that should lead a neurologist to think about specific atypical parkinsonism disorders such as:

PSP:  abnormal eye movements; early, prominent dementia

CBS:  apraxia; alien limb; myoclonus; early, prominent dementia

MSA:  pyramidal tract/cerebellar signs; dysautonomia; severe dysarthria; dysphonia; stridor

DLB:  early, prominent dementia

I’m very surprised hallucinations, delusions, and fluctuating cognition were not listed as red flags for DLB!

The abstract is available at no charge. Amazingly, the full article seems to be available at no charge; grab it while you can! See:

Diagnostic Approach to Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes.
Nikolaus R. McFarland
Continuum. 2016 Aug;22(4 Movement Disorders):1117-42.
PubMed ID#: 27495201

Link to Abstract

Link to Full article

Happy reading!