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Postural hypotension in Parkinson’s disease 

Postural hypotension in Parkinson’s disease
Postural hypotension in Parkinson’s disease
Non-motor Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (2 ed.)

Italo Biaggioni

and Horacio Kaufmann


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder characterized by abnormal intraneuronal aggregates of misfolded proteins, known as Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies are found throughout the central nervous system (CNS) of patients with PD, most notably in the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra, a finding that explains the movement disorder. It is less well known that patients with PD also suffer varying degrees of autonomic impairment. Paradoxically, autonomic impairment is mainly due to the degeneration of peripheral, rather than central autonomic neurons. Indeed, Lewy bodies identical to those found in the CNS are found in peripheral autonomic neurons of PD patients. This chapter focuses on the autonomic cardiovascular abnormalities present in PD patients, which are clinically evidenced as orthostatic hypotension and discusses their diagnosis and treatment.

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