Idiopathic Parkinson's syndrome is associated with the loss of dopaminergic cells. It is defined by the presence of akinesia together with one of the cardinal symptoms: rigor, tremor, or postural instability. As the perioperative management of these patients can be challenging and they have an increased perioperative risk, every anaesthesiologist should know some special features. If a patient with Parkinson's disease does not receive the required amount of dopa, akinetic crisis may occur. Moreover, the administration of dopamine-antagonistic drugs can trigger a malignant neuroleptic syndrome. These are life-threatening clinical pictures that require intensive medical treatment. Therefore, patients with Parkinson's disease should be enabled to keep the period without the intake of the specific medication as short as possible. General anaesthesia should be performed with short acting anaesthetics and a regional anaesthesia might be beneficial. Besides, all dopamine antagonists sometimes used for prophylaxis or therapy of delirium or PONV (haloperidol, metoclopramide) are contraindicated. Alternatives are short-acting benzodiazepines, atypical neuroleptics and domperidone.
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