Diseases similar to Parkinson's Disease
which may have a Genetic Link :

Cortical-Basal Ganglionic Degeneration (CBGD)



Cell loss and atrophy in the cerebral cortex and substantia nigra of the brain is characteristic of CBGD.  Affected individuals may have difficulty directing their movements appropriately.  Initial symptoms may include poor coordination, difficulty accomplishing goal-directed tasks (such as tying a shoe), and/or difficulty pantomiming actions.  Symptoms usually begin on one side of the body, but move to both sides as the disease progresses. Memory loss and/or visual-spatial impairments may also occur.

Hakim's Disease (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus)
A brain disorder caused by blockage of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, with enlargement of the ventricles within the brain and compression of the brain tissue; it may result in loss of any or all brain functions controlled by an area of the brain. 

Huntington's Disease
This disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion.  An at-risk child of an affected parent has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease.  For more information visit the DNA library  to see the actual gene sequence.


Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
Early symptoms include falling, difficulty walking, imbalance, and slow movement, similar to Parkinson's disease.  People with PSP experience vision problems such as double and blurred vision, as well as difficulty with speech and swallowing. There may also be changes in mood and behavior.  Onset generally occurs in middle aged to older adults.


Shy-Drager Syndrome or Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)
This disease has clinical findings beyond general Parkinsonian symptoms.  There are
several distinguishing characteristics that a neurologist uses to help identify the few MSA/Shy-Drager cases from among the majority of Parkinson's Diseases cases. The two important characteristics are the autonomic abnormalities, and the lack of sustained responsiveness to levodopa/Sinemet.  Some patients with MSA have prominent parkinsonian features, and pathologically show striatonigral degeneration, while others have imbalance and incoordination (ataxia) clinically, and OPCA pathologically. A large proportion of patients with MSA have autonomic nervous system abnormalities such as a drop in blood pressure on standing, urinary retention/incontinence, impotence, constipation, dry mouth, and decreased sweating, in addition to the parkinsonian symptomotology.

Wilhelmsen-Lynch disease
(disinhibition-dementia-parkinsonian-amyotrophycomplex)
This disease has been linked to a region of chromosome 17.


Wilson's Disease
Wilson's disease is an inherited disorder in which excessive amounts of copper accumulate in the body. This rare disorder affects approximately one in 30,000 individuals and young onset Parkinson's Disease often develops from this disease. Wilson's disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, requiring that an individual receive the abnormal gene for Wilson's disease from both parents in order to become infected. The genetic defect in Wilson's disease results in failure of the liver to rid the body of copper. The copper then builds up in the liver, the brain and other organs, which may result in difficulty with speech, trembling, writing problems, an unsteady walk, depression, suicidal impulses, and loss of mental functions.

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