Parkinsonism - secondary
Secondary parkinsonism is similar to Parkinson's disease, but it is caused by certain medicines, a different nervous system disorder, or another illness.
Parkinson's disease is one of the most common nervous system (neurologic) disorders of the elderly. "Parkinsonism" refers to any condition that causes Parkinson's-type abnormal movements. These movements are caused by changes in or destruction of the nerve cells (neurons) that produce the chemical dopamine in a certain area of the brain.
Secondary parkinsonism may be caused by disorders such as:
Other disorders can also damage the dopamine neurons and produce this condition, including:
Another common cause of secondary parkinsonism is medication, such as:
If they damage the area of the brain that contains the dopamine neurons, the following may cause secondary parkinsonism:
There have been cases of secondary parkinsonism among intravenous drug users who injected a substance called MPTP, which can be produced when making a form of heroin. These cases are rare and have mostly affected long-term drug users.
Secondary parkinsonism caused by antipsychotics or other medications is usually reversible if identified soon enough. However, it may not be reversible if it is caused by:
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Lewitt PA. Levodopa for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. N Engl J Med. 2008;359(23):2468-76.
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