Vol. 6 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2012
Views & Reviews Páginas: 137 a 144

Vascular Parkinsonism and cognitive impairment: literature review, Brazilian studies and case vignettes

Authors Thiago Cardoso Vale1; Maira Tonidandel Barbosa2; Paulo Caramelli1; Francisco Cardoso1


keywords: vascular parkinsonism, vascular cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, Parkinson's disease, diffuse white-matter lesions.

Vascular Parkinsonism (VP) is a form of secondary Parkinsonism resulting from cerebrovascular disease. Estimates of the frequency of VP vary greatly worldwide; 3% to 6% of all cases of Parkinsonism are found to have a vascular etiology. In a Brazilian community-based study on Parkinsonism, 15.1% of all cases were classified as VP, the third most common form, with a prevalence of 1.1% in an elderly cohort. Another Brazilian survey found a prevalence of 2.3% of VP in the elderly. VP is usually the result of conventional vascular risk factors, particularly hypertension, leading to strategic infarcts of subcortical gray matter nuclei, diffuse white matter ischaemic lesions and less commonly, large vessel infarcts. Patients with VP tend to be older and present with gait difficulties, symmetrical predominant lower-body involvement, poor levodopa responsiveness, postural instability, falls, cognitive impairment and dementia, corticospinal findings, urinary incontinence and pseudobulbar palsy. This article intends to provide physicians with an insight on the practical issues of VP, a disease potentially confounded with vascular dementia, idiopathic Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and other secondary causes of Parkinsonism.


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