The Motor Syndrome of Parkinson's Disease

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2017;132:25-32. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2017.01.004. Epub 2017 Feb 24.


The clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) is centered on a specific motor syndrome that is characterized by the presence of bradykinesia, plus rest tremor, muscle rigidity, or both. Recently, novel criteria for diagnosing PD have been released that rehearse the motor syndrome as the core feature of PD. Beyond these three main symptoms, other motor features might be present in PD including gait difficulties and postural instability. Moreover, patients with PD usually develop motor complications 5-10 years into their disease. These motor complications are the strongest predictor of PD pathology and are in fact used clinically to support the diagnosis. Ancillary investigations are usually of little utility and to perform only in selected cases, which remarks the importance of the clinical examination for making the diagnosis of PD or suspect other condition that can be masquerading it.

Keywords: Bradykinesia; Criteria; Motor; Parkinson; Tremor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypokinesia / etiology
  • Hypokinesia / physiopathology*
  • Muscle Rigidity / etiology
  • Muscle Rigidity / physiopathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Tremor / etiology
  • Tremor / physiopathology*