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Neurol Sci. 2011 Apr;32(2):343-6. doi: 10.1007/s10072-011-0487-6. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

The diagnosis of postencephalitic parkinsonism at the neurological unit of Boston City Hospital, 1930-1981.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, USA.


The objective of the study is to ascertain the rationale for the diagnosis of postencephalitic parkinsonism (PEP) at Boston City Hospital's Neurological Unit (1930-1981). 5,270 discharge summaries were evaluated for the diagnoses of PEP. Sixteen cases of PEP were identified; the diagnosis of PEP was justified in approximately half of these cases based on the published criteria for distinguishing PEP from Parkinson's disease (PD). In conclusions, the absence of a clear justification for the diagnosis of PEP in many of the 16 cases suggests that the accepted relationship between encephalitis lethargica and PEP may be less definitive than currently believed.

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