How are Parkinson-plus syndromes characterized?

Updated: Sep 24, 2018
  • Author: Stephen M Bloomfield, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Answer

Modern immunocytochemical techniques and genetic findings suggest that Parkinson-plus syndromes can be broadly grouped into 2 types: synucleinopathies and tauopathies. Clinically, however, 5 separate Parkinson-plus syndromes have been identified, as follows:

For more information, see the Medscape Reference article Parkinson Disease.

See the related images below regarding Parkinson-plus syndromes.

Alpha-synuclein staining of the pons of an MSA cas Alpha-synuclein staining of the pons of an MSA case showing the positive glial inclusions (40x).
Rounded tau positive globose tangles in neurons of Rounded tau positive globose tangles in neurons of the subthalamic nucleus.
Neuronal loss in the substantia nigra with pigment Neuronal loss in the substantia nigra with pigment-laden macrophages and neuromelanin pigment spilled into the neuropil background (pigment incontinence).
Tau-positive neuronal inclusions in neurons of the Tau-positive neuronal inclusions in neurons of the substantia nigra (no alpha synuclein-positive inclusions, as are found in Parkinson disease).
Subcortical white matter showing tau-positive peri Subcortical white matter showing tau-positive perinuclear glial inclusions.
Subcortical white matter showing tau-positive peri Subcortical white matter showing tau-positive perinuclear glial inclusions.
Cerebral cortex with ballooned neuron. Cerebral cortex with ballooned neuron.
Cerebral cortex with tau-reactive cellular inclusi Cerebral cortex with tau-reactive cellular inclusions and neuropil threads.
Hematoxylin and eosin stained section of neocortex Hematoxylin and eosin stained section of neocortex showing cortical Lewy body.
Neocortex stained alpha synuclein. The presence of Neocortex stained alpha synuclein. The presence of cortical Lewy bodies is confirmed by the finding of alpha synuclein positive rounded cytoplasmic inclusion in neurons.
Neocortex stained with tau. Tau positive tangles i Neocortex stained with tau. Tau positive tangles in neurons of the cortex.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!