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Paradoxical kinesia at war



Paradoxical kinesia is the sudden transient ability of a patient with Parkinson's disease to perform a task he was previously unable to perform, usually when facing an immediate threat. The sensory cues governing this behavior and the prevalence in real life situations are unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence of paradoxical kinesia in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients whose residential area was suddenly a war zone, under a life threatening missile attack, necessitating immediate evacuation. Fifty PD patients were interviewed during and immediately following the war. Only two patients experienced paradoxical kinesia, one war related and the other historical, both in response to visual cues. In contrast, an auditory stimulus in the form of a frightening loud siren, warning patients of an imminent missile attack, did not induce paradoxical kinesia. When questioned about their general function during wartime, patients reported significant increases in OFF time (P < 0.01), dyskinesia (P < 0.009), anxiety (P < 0.002), and depression (P < 0.01) as compared with their performance before the war. Paradoxical kinesia is uncommon, even in the face of danger. Visual, but not auditory, triggers appear to be needed to prompt its occurrence. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society