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Atypical Parkinsonism

When a patient experiences the symptoms of parkinsonism – muscle stiffness, slow movement, tremor, loss of coordination – but does not respond to regular Parkinson disease medications and has additional symptoms not typically seen in Parkinson disease – the doctor may diagnose an atypical Parkinsonian disorder.

Atypical Parkinsonism: What You Need to Know

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Atypical Parkinsonisms are most likely to affect people in their 50s and 60s, and include disorders such as:

  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB or LBD), a dementia disorder that causes movement problems similar to that of Parkinson disease but also includes early cognitive impairment
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a disorder that affects patients’ vision and balance
  • Multiple system atrophy (MSA), which involves the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that controls internal functions such as digestion, heartbeat and breathing) and can affect coordination
  • Corticobasal syndrome (CBS), a rare atypical Parkinsonian disorder in which symptoms often involve one side of the body more than the other

All of these disorders can cause speech problems, difficulty swallowing and drooling.

There is no cure for atypical Parkinsonian disorders, but potential treatments to slow or stop disease progression are currently being studied. Physical, occupational and speech/swallowing therapies can be helpful in lessening the impact of your symptoms. Some medications may be useful as well.

Patient Resources

Read more about Atypical Parkinsonism in our Health Library.

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Why Choose Johns Hopkins for Treatment of Atypical Parkinsonism?

Drs. Pantelyat and BangDrs. Alexander Pantelyat and Jee Bang

Our Physicians

A multidisciplinary team of doctors and specialists offers comprehensive treatment to help you manage atypical Parkinsonism. Monthly clinics help our doctors share valuable clinical insights and incorporate the latest thinking from research.

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Our Treatments

Johns Hopkins treats many people with atypical Parkinsonism, and our specialists have extensive experience in even the rarest of these conditions. 

Tomorrow's Discoveries -- Alexander Pantelyat, M.D.

Alexander Pantelyat, M.D.and his team collect blood and spinal fluid for genetic and proteomic analyses by using novel brain imaging techniques to distinguish between types of Parkinson’s-plus syndromes and participate in international trials for these devastating diseases.


More Information about Atypical Parkinsonism from Johns Hopkins Medicine

Drs. Pantelyat and BangDr. Alexander Pantelyat 

To Help Patients with Atypical Parkinsonism

Dr. Alex Pantelyat directs the Johns Hopkins Atypical Parkinsonism Center, one of only a handful of clinics around the world dedicated to treating this rare population of patients. He and his colleagues seek to better understand these disorders and lead the way toward effective therapeutics.

Read more.

Center of Care

Johns Hopkins is proud to be a CurePSP center of care providing the best possible care for progressive supranuclear palsy and other movement disorders. 

Our Research

Your Johns Hopkins doctors are informed by leading edge research, which is delivering new methods for earlier diagnosis and developing potential new directions for management.

Research Center of Excellence

Johns Hopkins is proud to be a Lewy Body Dementia Association research center of excellence

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Maryland Patients

To request an appointment, please contact the Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at 410-502-0133.
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Adult Neurology: 410-955-9441
Pediatric Neurology: 410-955-4259
Adult Neurosurgery: 410-955-6406
Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337


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