Parkinson disease

R Balestrino, A H V Schapira
European Journal of Neurology: the Official Journal of the European Federation of Neurological Societies 2020, 27 (1): 27-42
Parkinson disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. In Europe, prevalence and incidence rates for PD are estimated at approximately 108-257/100 000 and 11-19/100 000 per year, respectively. Risk factors include age, male gender and some environmental factors. The aetiology of the disease in most patients is unknown, but different genetic causes have been identified. Although familial forms of PD account for only 5%-15% of cases, studies on these families provided interesting insight on the genetics and the pathogenesis of the disease allowing the identification of genes implicated in its pathogenesis and offering critical insights into the mechanisms of disease. The cardinal motor symptoms of PD are tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia/akinesia and postural instability, but the clinical picture includes other motor and non-motor symptoms. Its diagnosis is principally clinical, although specific investigations can help the differential diagnosis from other forms of parkinsonism. Pathologically, PD is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra and by accumulation of misfolded α-synuclein, which is found in intra-cytoplasmic inclusions called Lewy bodies. Currently available treatments offer good control of motor symptoms but do not modify the evolution of the disease. This article is intended to provide a comprehensive, general and practical review of PD for the general neurologist.

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