Key facts and checkpoints

• Parkinson's disease is a most common and disabling chronic neurological disorder.

• The prevalence in Australia is 100-120 per 100 000. 5

• The incidence rises sharply over 70 years of age. 5

• The classic triad of Parkinson's disease (Fig 29.2) is:

o tremor o rigidity o bradykinesia (poverty of movement)

• Hemi-parkinsonism can occur; all the signs are confined to one side and thus must be differentiated from hemiparesis. In fact most Parkinson's disease starts unilaterally.

• Always consider drug-induced parkinsonism. The usual drugs are phenothiazines, butyrophenones and reserpine. Tremor is uncommon but rigidity and bradykinesia may be severe.

Refer to Table 29.4 .

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