Diseases similar to Parkinson's
which may have a Genetic Link
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This disease has been linked
to a region of chromosome 17.
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.