Parkinsonism in cirrhosis: pathogenesis and current therapeutic options.

Metabolic brain disease

PubMedID: 23086199

Butterworth RF. Parkinsonism in cirrhosis: pathogenesis and current therapeutic options. Metab Brain Dis. 2013;28(2):261-7.
Acquired hepatolenticular degeneration, also known as "Parkinsonism in cirrhosis" is characterized by extrapyramidal symptoms including hypokinesia, dystonia and rigidity that are rapidly progressive and may be independent of the severity of cognitive dysfunction. Magnetic resonance imaging reveals T1-weighted hyperintense signals in both globus pallidus and substantia nigra. Estimates of the prevalence of Parkinsonism in cirrhosis have been reported as high as 21 %. The cause of Parkinsonism in cirrhosis has been attributed to manganese deposition in basal ganglia structures, leading to the dysfunction of the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system. In particular, there is evidence from both spectroscopic and biochemical investigations for damage to (or dysfunction of) presynaptic dopamine transporters together with a loss of post-synaptic dopamine receptors in basal ganglia of affected patients. Therapeutic options are limited; ammonia-lowering strategies are without substantial benefit, and an effective manganese chelator is not available. In many patients, L-Dopa replacement therapy and the dopamine receptor agonist bromocriptine are beneficial, and liver transplantation is generally effective. However, reports of post-transplant residual extrapyramidal symptoms suggest an element of irreversibility in some cases.