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George E. Carvell, PhD, PT   University of Pittsburgh
 Something is amiss! Gait in young adults is not typically slow and stiff. This individual shows a hypokinetic, rigid gait with short stride, narrow base of support and little lift of each foot during the swing phase of gait. The overall posture is somewhat forward and flexed and arm swing is negligible despite a tremor of the hands. The gait shown here is typical of many Parkinson's patients. Seeing such a gait pathology in young adults is uncommon but not out of the question. For example, chemically-induced Parkinsonism was reported in a select population of young adults who had all the typical symptoms of Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease (IPD), a disease more commonly found in older adults. The chemical (MPTP) attacked the Dopaminergic Cells of the Substantia Nigra, the same pathology found in individuals who have IPD. Likewise, 6-OHDA (6-hydroxydopamine) has the same toxic effect in rodents (fig 5) that MPTP has in primates.
Fig 5 In: F. Blandini, G. Nappi, C. Tassorelli, and E. Martignoni, Functional Changes of Basal Ganglia Circuitry in Parkinsonís Disease. Prog Neurobio 62: 63-88, 2000.
Fig 5 p 74
Note loss of Dopamine Cells in Substantia Nigra pars compacta (SNc)
SNc = Substantia Nigra pars compacta (DOPA)
SNr = Substantia Nigra pars reticulata (GABA)
Nolte Fig 19-18
p 465
GMOMM  © 2001
Dopa Cells Are Killed