Striatal deformities of the hand and foot in Parkinson's disease

Lancet Neurol. 2005 Jul;4(7):423-31. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(05)70119-8.


Striatal deformities of the hand and foot are abnormal postures that are common in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD); they can present in the early stages of PD and in other parkinsonian disorders. Over a century ago, Charcot and Purves-Stewart recognised these deformities, which cause substantial functional disability and discomfort. The term striatal is used because pathology in the neostriatum (putamen and caudate) has been suggested to cause the deformities, but the pathogenesis is unknown. Misdiagnosis of the deformities is common-particularly when they occur early and in the absence of cardinal parkinsonian signs, such as tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity-because the hand deformities are similar to those in rheumatoid arthritis, equinovarus foot deformity typically suggests an orthopaedic problem, and toe extension may be thought to be the Babinski sign of upper-motor-neuron syndromes. Here we review the background and clinical features of these deformities to highlight these commonly unrecognised and poorly understood parkinsonian signs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Foot Deformities / epidemiology
  • Foot Deformities / etiology*
  • Foot Deformities / pathology
  • Hand Deformities / epidemiology
  • Hand Deformities / etiology*
  • Hand Deformities / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neostriatum / pathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*