Dystonia and parkinsonism

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2001 Oct;8(2):109-21. doi: 10.1016/s1353-8020(01)00025-6.


Parkinsonism and dystonia may coexist in a number of neurodegenerative, genetic, toxic, and metabolic disorders and as a result of structural lesions in the basal ganglia. Parkinson's disease (PD) and the 'Parkinson-plus' syndromes (PPS) account for the majority of patients with the parkinsonism-dystonia combination. Dystonia, particularly when it involves the foot, may be the presenting sign of PD or PPS and these disorders should be suspected when adults present with isolated foot dystonia. Young age, female gender, and long disease duration are risk factors for PD-related dystonia, but dystonia in patients with PD is usually related to levodopa therapy. The mechanism of dystonia in PD is not well understood and the management is often challenging because levodopa and other dopaminergic agents may either improve or worsen dystonia. Other therapeutic strategies include oral medications (baclofen, anticholinergics and benzodiazepines), local injections of botulinum toxin, intrathecal baclofen, and surgical lesions or high frequency stimulation of the thalamus, globus pallidus, or subthalamus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Dystonia / chemically induced
  • Dystonia / complications*
  • Dystonia / genetics
  • Dystonia / therapy
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / adverse effects
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / complications*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / drug therapy
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / genetics
  • Syndrome


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Levodopa