Postural deformities are frequent and disabling complications of Parkinson's disease (PD) and atypical parkinsonism. These deformities include camptocormia, antecollis, Pisa syndrome, and scoliosis. Recognition of specific postural syndromes might have differential diagnostic value in patients presenting with parkinsonism. The evidence to date suggests that postural deformities have a multifactorial pathophysiology. Contributing factors include muscular rigidity; axial dystonia; weakness caused by myopathy; body scheme defects due to centrally impaired proprioception; and structural changes in the spine. The relative contribution of these different factors varies between patients and across specific syndromes. Improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying postural deformities in PD might ultimately lead us to more effective management strategies for these disabling and drug-refractory complications.
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