Parkinsonian features in advanced Down’s syndrome

  • P. Vieregge
  • G. Ziemens
  • A. Piosinski
  • M. Freudenberg
  • D. Kömpf
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 33)


The results of a clinical study on extrapyramidal, frontal release, and other neurological signs in 54 demented and non-demented patients with Down’s syndrome (DS) are presented. Fourteen patients were demented, five of them showed extrapyramidal signs, mainly of the rigid-hypokinetic spectrum and rather similar to Parkinsonian features in advanced Alzheimer’s disease (AD). None of the non-demented patients had Parkinsonian signs. The mean ages of the demented DS patients with extrapyramidal signs was significantly higher than that of the patients without the respective signs. Frontal release signs were present in demented and nondemented patients. From a questionnaire neither a raised proportion of early- or senile-onset dementia nor of Parkinsonism among first- and second-degree relatives of DS patients could be traced. Parkinsonian signs seem to be present at a lower frequency in DS than in advanced AD. A speculative hypothesis about a gene dosage effect of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase in preventing toxic radical formation in the substantia nigra of DS patients is presented.


Extrapyramidal Sign Parkinsonian Sign Parkinsonian Feature Nondemented Patient Frontal Release Sign 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Vieregge
    • 1
  • G. Ziemens
    • 2
  • A. Piosinski
    • 3
  • M. Freudenberg
    • 4
  • D. Kömpf
    • 5
  1. 1.Klinik für NeurologieMedizinische Universität zu LübeckLübeck 1Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Landeskrankenhaus HeiligenhafenNeustadt/Holst.Federal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.Psychiatrisches Krankenhaus RicklingNeustadt/Holst.Federal Republic of Germany
  4. 4.LandeskrankenhausNeustadt/Holst.Federal Republic of Germany
  5. 5.Klinik für NeurologieMedizinische Universität zu LübeckNeustadt/Holst.Federal Republic of Germany

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