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Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson`s? or Cervical Spinal Tumor?

10/19/2001

Question:

My father has had essential tremors for 30 years, not Parkinson`s. Because of a balance problem he was diagnosed with PD. His decline has been rapid, and he has not responded to the PD meds. Is it possible that he may have a cervical spinal tumor instead (from a previous cervical fracture) and is displaying the same symptoms as PD? His tremors have always been displayed when he went to do a task, not at rest. But he has lost bladder and bowel control, is not drooling, but having problems with swallowing. Also the glands in his throat are swollen. He also has become rigid due to lack of activity. He was hospitalized all summer and had little physical therapy. His vision has also been affected.

Answer:

The possibilities include: 1. Cervical lesion: tumor/disc disease 2. Stroke 3. Normal pressure hydrocephalus 4. Parkinson`s Plus Syndromes

An MRI of the cervical spine and the brain will be helpful in distinguishing between these possibilities.

For more information on items 3 and 4 please look at the chapters I have written on those topics which are available at the links below.

Related Resources:

Parkinson's plus syndrome
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

For more information:

Go to the Parkinson's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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