Publication date: May 09, 2019
Dystonia and Parkinson’s disease are closely linked disorders sharing many pathophysiological overlaps. Dystonia can be seen in 30% or more of the patients suffering with PD and sometimes can precede the overt parkinsonism. The response of early dystonia to the introduction of dopamine replacement therapy (levodopa, dopamine agonists) is variable; dystonia commonly occurs in PD patients following levodopa initiation. Similarly, parkinsonism is commonly seen in patients with mutations in various DYT genes including those involved in the dopamine synthesis pathway. Pharmacological blockade of dopamine receptors can cause both tardive dystonia and parkinsonism and these movement disorders syndromes can occur in many other neurodegenerative, genetic, toxic and metabolic diseases. Pallidotomy in the past and currently deep brain stimulation largely involving the GPi are effective treatment options for both dystonia and parkinsonism. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the response of these two different movement disorder syndromes are poorly understood.. Interestingly, DBS for PD can cause dystonia such as blepharospasm and bilateral pallidal DBS for dystonia can result in features of parkinsonism. Advances in our understanding of these responses may provide better explanations for the relationship between dystonia and Parkinson’s disease.
Shetty, A.S., Bhatia, K.P., and Lang, A.E. Dystonia and Parkinson’s disease: What is the relationship? 20751. 2019 Neurobiol Dis.