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August 1996

Etiology of Parkinson's Disease

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

Arch Neurol. 1996;53(8):721. doi:10.1001/archneur.1996.00550080031009

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The cause of Parkinson's disease (PD) is unknown. This is hardly unique as the same could be said for many neurological conditions; nevertheless, the etiology of PD is truly an enigma. The disease itself is usually apparent in its clinical manifestations. Its pathology is well characterized. Treatment of PD with levodopa is probably the best established (maybe the most effective) form of neurotransmitter replacement therapy yet devised. This seeming straightforwardness is illusory, particularly when one begins to try to explore the cause of PD. Research of medical literature in the past few decades has provided us with abundant and frequently discrepant clues to the cause of PD. Ellenberg and colleagues offer a thorough review of this topic. The main strengths of the book are its comprehensiveness and the logical fashion in which it is organized.

The volume is divided into 4 sections. The first is titled "Clinical Definition," but this

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