JOURNAL ARTICLE

Gait disorder and parkinsonian signs in patients with stroke related to small deep infarcts and white matter lesions

M van Zagten, J Lodder, F Kessels
Movement Disorders: Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society 1998, 13 (1): 89-95
9452332
Vascular parkinsonism is thought to be a distinct parkinsonian syndrome associated with small deep infarcts and white matter lesions (WMLs). We studied the prevalence of parkinsonian features (bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor, and gait disorder) in relation to small deep or territorial infarcts and WMLs on computed tomography (CT) in 62 lacunar and 41 territorial stroke patients, at 3.0 (median) years of follow up. One or more parkinsonian signs were found in 36% of these patients; 11% clinically had parkinsonism. Parkinsonian signs were found more frequently in lacunar than in territorial stroke patients: bradykinesia in 45% and 7%, rigidity in 13% and 7%, tremor in 6% and 7%, and gait disorder in 16% and 7%, respectively. Patients with WMLs at study entry (n = 16) were compared with those without WMLs (n = 87): 56% and 25% had bradykinesia, 25% and 8% rigidity, 25% and 3% tremor, and 38% and 8% gait disorder, respectively. Regression analysis with adjusted odds ratios ([a]OR) showed that WMLs at study entry were associated with bradykinesia ([a]OR 8.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6-41.6), gait disorder ([a]OR 7.1, 95% CI 1.5-33.7), and tremor ([a]OR 7.0, 95% CI 1.2-40.3). Bradykinesia was associated with lacunar stroke at study entry ([a]OR 11.5, 95% CI 2.4-54.9). Thus, one third of our stroke patients had one or more parkinsonian signs, and 10% clinically had a parkinsonian syndrome that differed from Lewy body parkinsonism: infrequent resting tremor, but frequent gait disorder. Parkinsonian signs were associated with WMLs and lacunar stroke. Therefore, this study favors a distinct vascular parkinsonian syndrome.

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