Continued from article: (Posted on August 13, 2018 by MyParkinsonsTeam)
In some cases, Parkinson’s symptoms are not a disease in themselves, but are caused by certain medications or by other conditions. These types of parkinsonism are referred to as secondary parkinsonism. Unlike Parkinson’s disease, secondary parkinsonisms are usually not progressive and do not respond to the same drugs. Secondary parkinsonisms include drug-induced and vascular parkinsonism.
Certain medications can cause parkinsonian symptoms as a side effect. Drug-induced parkinsonism is the second-leading cause of parkinsonism after Parkinson’s disease.
Drug-induced parkinsonism may be caused by a range of medications, including:
- Antipsychotics such as Haldol (Haloperidol) and Thorazine (Chlorpromazine)
- Anti-nausea medications such as Reglan (Metoclopramide)
- Antidepressants in the serotonin specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) class such as Prozac (Fluoxetine) and Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Calcium channel blockers such as Flunarizine and Cinnarizine (not approved for use in the U.S.)
- Xenazine (Tetrabenazine)
These drugs do not cause parkinsonism in every person who takes them.
The symptoms of drug-induced Parkinson’s are usually temporary. Symptoms typically fade and disappear within a year of stopping the medication that caused the condition, sometimes within weeks. In some cases, the symptoms of drug-induced parkinsonism are permanent, but they are usually not progressive like other forms of parkinsonism.
Vascular parkinsonism is caused by small strokes in the brain where blood vessels have become blocked. Also known as arteriosclerotic or multi-infarct parkinsonism, vascular parkinsonism is usually limited to the legs. Unlike other forms of parkinsonism, vascular parkinsonism appears suddenly rather than gradually and is not usually progressive. Hypertension (high blood pressure), high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease can contribute to the development of vascular parkinsonism. Unlike most other types of Parkinson’s, vascular parkinsonism can often be seen in computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain.
Typical Parkinson’s medications do not improve symptoms of vascular parkinsonism. Treatments are aimed at preventing additional strokes and may include Aspirin or blood thinners and recommendations to stop smoking, eat a diet low in salt and saturated fat, and get more exercise.