Atypical Parkinsonism

Atypical parkinsonisms are conditions in which an individual experiences some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) — tremor, slowness, rigidity (stiffness), and/or walking and balance problems — but does not have PD.  Atypical parkinsonism can be due to certain medications (some anti-nausea and antipsychotic drugs), other brain disorders (repeated head injury or multiple small strokes) or neurodegenerative diseases.

10 Types of Parkinsonism’s

Parkinsonism is an umbrella term that refers to brain conditions that cause slowed movements, rigidity, and tremors. These conditions can happen for many reasons, including genetic mutations, reactions to medications, and infections. Parkinsonism refers to several conditions — including Parkinson’s disease — that have similar symptoms and features. However, Parkinson’s disease makes up about 80% of all cases of parkinsonism, making it the most common form by far.

1. Parkinson’s Disease – A brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time.
2. Multiple System Atrophy (Atypical Parkinsonism) – A rare condition of the nervous system that causes gradual damage to nerve cells in the brain. This affects balance, movement and the autonomic nervous system, which controls several basic functions, such as breathing, digestion and bladder control.
3. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (Atypical Parkinsonism) – A rare neurological disorder that affects your body movements, walking and balance, and eye movement. It results from damage to nerve cells in areas of the brain that control thinking and body movement.
4. Lewy body Dementia (Atypical Parkinsonism) – A disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood.
5. Corticobasal Degeneration (Atypical Parkinsonism) – A form of frontotemporal degeneration, a dementia that involves the loss of cognitive functions such as the ability to think, remember, or reason to the point that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.
6. Drug-induced Parkinsonism (Secondary Parkinsonism) – The second most prevalent cause of secondary Parkinsonism. Its symptoms, which include tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and gait disturbance, are very similar to those of Parkinson’s disease.
7. Vascular Parkinsonism (Secondary Parkinsonism) – A condition which presents with the clinical features of parkinsonism that are presumably caused by cerebrovascular disease. It is classically described as symmetrical lower-body parkinsonism with gait unsteadiness and absence of tremors and is usually associated with pyramidal signs.
8. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (Secondary Parkinsonism) – An abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles (cavities). It occurs if the normal flow of CSF throughout the brain and spinal cord is blocked in some way. This causes the ventricles to enlarge, putting pressure on the brain.
9. Functional Movement Disorder (Other) – Abnormalities of movement that are altered by distraction or nonphysiologic maneuvers, and are clinically incompatible with movement disorders associated with neurologic disease.
10. Essential Tremor (Related Disorder) – A common movement disorder that involves a tremor (unwanted and uncontrolled shaking) in both hands and arms during action and when standing still. It also may affect your head and voice and how you walk.

For more information click on the following links:

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia (LBD, sometimes referred to as Lewy body disorder) is an umbrella term that includes Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), two dementias characterized by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein in the brain.  LBD is considered one of the four Atypical Parkinsonisms.  Home – Lewy Body Dementia Association (

Local Support Group Meetings:

DATE/TIME:  Central Austin Lewy Body Dementia Care Partner, Friends and Family Support Group
1st & 3rd Saturdays of each month, beginning at 10am
PLACE or Online:​ Contact Sarah for details
Mobile 832-794-8810 / Office 512-593-7669 / Fax 512-548-7693
Email / Website

DATE/TIME:  “Living with Lewy” Support Group (for BOTH diagnosed individual AND their care partner, if available)
2nd Monday of each month, beginning at 2pm
PLACE or Online:​ Contact Sarah for details
Mobile 832-794-8810 / Office 512-593-7669 / Fax 512-548-7693
Email / Website


Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) are three Atypical Parkinsonisms.

Research has shown that there are important links between prime of life diseases and more common neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.  Click here for more info: or visit the CurePSP facebook page:  ​

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
Affects roughly 17,500 people in the United States, only 25% of whom are accurately  diagnosed. Symptoms include loss of balance, changes in personality, weakened downward eye movements, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing.  Click here for more info:  ​

Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD)
Affects 2,000-3,000 people in the United States, only 25% of whom are accurately diagnosed. Symptoms include difficulty with balance and speech, stiffness or clumsiness in upper or lower extremities, and dementia.  Click here for more info:  ​

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)
Affects roughly 13,000 people in the United States, only 25% of whom are accurately diagnosed. Symptoms include excessive changes in blood pressure when altering position (sitting, standing, lying down), impaired speech, and difficulty swallowing, breathing, and eating.  Click here for more info:

All diseases lead to progressive decline, and although symptomatic treatment exists, there is no known cause or cure.

For more info see:

Local Support Group Meetings:

Austin CurePSP Support Group.  This group focuses on families and patients diagnosed with PSP, CBD or MSA.  PSP-CBD-MSA Support Group Meetings:
DATE: Meets the 4th Saturday of every month (Note:  Oct & Nov meetings will be held on the 3rd Saturday)
TIME: 10:00 am
PLACE or Online:​ Contact Judi
CONTACT: Judi Nudelman at 512-964-1236 or

Skip to content