Atypical Parkinsonian syndromes (APS)

Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes (APS), or Parkinsonism Plus Syndrome, is a term used when a patient exhibits symptoms seen in classic Parkinson’s disease, but they have a different cause.

Slowness of movement (Bradykinesia), impairment of the power of voluntary movement (Akinesia), slowness of thought (Bradyphrenia), muscle rigidity, tremors, and loss of balance are symptoms of typical Parkinson’s disease. They are known to be caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brainstem and the resulting depletion of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

When there is additional cell degeneration in the nervous system, it is atypical. This makes diagnosis complex. Some examples of APS include Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple Systems Atrophy, Corticobasal Ganglionic Degeneration, and Diffuse Lewy Body Disease. The causes of Atypical Parkinsonism are not yet known, but unlike typical Parkinson’s disease, they are not thought to be genetic.

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