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Parkinson's Disease

Parkinsons Plus vs.Parkinsonism

11/17/1998

Question:

A friend has MSA, a form of Parkinsons +,and was told he did NOT have Parkinsonism, so the PD meds would not help him. Yet I read that MSA patients often benefit for a while from Sinemet,etc. Can you clarify this? Is PD + different from Parkinsonism?

Answer:

There are various forms of Parkinson's plus syndromes including Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and others. The key difference from Parkinson's disease proper is the lack of dramatic response to Sinemet or dopamine agonists. However, in relatively higher doses, some patients with these syndromes do show a mild benefit. Your friend would be best served by consulting a movement disorders specialist to outline the best treatment plan.

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Response by:

Arif Dalvi, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati