J Clin Neurol.  2012 Mar;8(1):15-21. 10.3988/jcn.2012.8.1.15.

Drug-Induced Parkinsonism

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Parkinson/Alzheimer Center, Department of Neurology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sjchung@amc.seoul.kr

Abstract

Drug-induced parkinsonism (DIP) is the second-most-common etiology of parkinsonism in the elderly after Parkinson's disease (PD). Many patients with DIP may be misdiagnosed with PD because the clinical features of these two conditions are indistinguishable. Moreover, neurological deficits in patients with DIP may be severe enough to affect daily activities and may persist for long periods of time after the cessation of drug taking. In addition to typical antipsychotics, DIP may be caused by gastrointestinal prokinetics, calcium channel blockers, atypical antipsychotics, and antiepileptic drugs. The clinical manifestations of DIP are classically described as bilateral and symmetric parkinsonism without tremor at rest. However, about half of DIP patients show asymmetrical parkinsonism and tremor at rest, making it difficult to differentiate DIP from PD. The pathophysiology of DIP is related to drug-induced changes in the basal ganglia motor circuit secondary to dopaminergic receptor blockade. Since these effects are limited to postsynaptic dopaminergic receptors, it is expected that presynaptic dopaminergic neurons in the striatum will be intact. Dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging is useful for diagnosing presynaptic parkinsonism. DAT uptake in the striatum is significantly decreased even in the early stage of PD, and this characteristic may help in differentiating PD from DIP. DIP may have a significant and longstanding effect on patients' daily lives, and so physicians should be cautious when prescribing dopaminergic receptor blockers and should monitor patients' neurological signs, especially for parkinsonism and other movement disorders.

Keyword

Parkinsonism; dopamine receptor blocking agents; clinical manifestations; dopamine transporter imaging; treatment
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