Anticardiolipin antibody in vascular parkinsonism



Vascular parkinsonism (VP) is characterized by predominantly lower body involvement with gait impairment and postural instability, often without tremor, and by relative levodopa unresponsiveness. Neuroimaging studies demonstrate multiple infarcts or ischemic changes in periventricular white matter. Anticardiolipin antibodies (ACLA) are associated with hypercoagulable states and increased stroke risk. Review of our Movement Disorders Clinic records identified 44 individuals with a diagnosis of VP. ACLA have been obtained in 22 of these patients (mean age, 78.3 years; mean Mini-Mental Status Exam score, 25.8). Gait disturbance was the initial clinical feature in 82% of the patients, and levodopa responsiveness was present in 18% of those treated. In 9 of the 22 (40.9%), ACLA immunoglobulin G was positive. No significant differences in clinical features or risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and clinical stroke) were evident between ACLA+ and ACLA− groups. Since the presence of ACLA in individuals with stroke is usually treated by full-scale anticoagulation with warfarin, our findings raise the question whether such treatment should also be used in persons with VP who are ACLA positive. © 2002 Movement Disorder Society