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Mov Disord. 2010 Jul 15;25(9):1109-15. doi: 10.1002/mds.23118.

Pallidopyramidal disease: a misnomer?

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Donders Centre for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The combination of recessive early-onset parkinsonism and pyramidal tract signs caused by pallidopyramidal degeneration is known as pallidopyramidal disease or syndrome (PPD/S). We investigated whether patients diagnosed as Davison's PPD/S showed any definite proof of pyramidal and pallidal involvement, without findings suggestive of other nosological entities. Since Davison's original description, 15 other PPD/S cases have been reported, yet all lack proof of pyramidal or pallidal degeneration. Because of the dopa-responsiveness in all patients subsequent to Davison's report, we argue that these patients probably suffered from early-onset nigral parkinsonism or dopa-responsive dsystonia, rather than pallidal parkinsonism; in such cases, the presumed pyramidal Babinski could be a pseudobabinski ("striatal toe"). Secondary pallidopyramidal syndromes do occur, for example, in multiple system atrophy or Wilson's disease, but in these patients additional findings indicate diseases other than Davison's PPD/S. We conclude that the existence of PPD/S as a distinct clinico-pathological nosological entity, as proposed by Davison, is doubtful. In cases reported as Davison's PPD/S, the description "pallidopyramidal" seems to be a misnomer.

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