Lesion of the dorsorostral midbrain sparing the nigrostriatal tract mimics axial rigidity seen in progressive supranuclear palsy



We report on a patient with a residual dorsorostral midbrain lesion after resection of a pineal gland tumor. In addition to severe vertical gaze palsy, this patient exhibited other neurological features closely resembling progressive supranuclear palsy. Normal dopamine transporter single-photon emission computed tomography imaging excluded significant dopamine deficiency. We suggest that dorsorostral midbrain pathology rather than dopamine deficiency due to degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons or basal ganglia nuclei might be responsible for axial rigidity in extension. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society