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April 1980

Scoliosis and Parkinson's Disease

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology Institute of Psychiatry De Crespigny Pk, Denmark Hill London, SE5 8AF, England

Arch Neurol. 1980;37(4):253-254. doi:10.1001/archneur.1980.00500530091025

To the Editor.—  The recent report of Trabucchi et al in the Archives (36:246-248, 1979) is of special interest in the context of our recent description of scoliosis in Parkinson's disease.1 Patients with Parkinson's disease often have a mild scoliosis that usually consists of a simple thoracic curvature with its concavity contralateral to the side of initial symptoms. The phenomenon is striking in patients with hemiparkinsonism, some of whom may show a very marked scoliosis. We considered the scoliosis analogous to that observed in animals (eg, the "Ungerstedt rat"2) after unilateral destruction of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway arising from the zona compacta of the substantia nigra. The behavioral responses of the patient described by Trabucchi and his colleagues in neurology to levodopa, bromocriptine, and amphetamine are consistent with that interpretation and lend further support to the appropriateness of the Ungerstedt rat as an animal analogue of human parkinsonism.We

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