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E. Carvell, PhD, PT
University of Pittsburgh
PARKINSONíS DISEASE: LOSS OF
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)
GMOMM © 2001
Dopa Cells Are Killed