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Vascular (Arteriosclerotic) parkinsonism

Several small strokes in the part of the brain that receives information about position and movement can cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms, such as rigidity and slowness, walking with short, shuffling steps, speech and memory or thinking problems.

Vascular (Arteriosclerotic) parkinsonism can be difficult to distinguish from Parkinson’s. However, stroke symptoms tend to appear suddenly and do not progress, whereas the symptoms of Parkinson’s appear gradually and get worse over time. Vascular parkinsonism usually affects the legs more than the upper part of the body.

Doctors believe that high blood pressure and diabetes are the most likely risk factors, being the same causes underlying stroke and heart disease.

Content last reviewed: March 2021


We would like to thank Prof Carlo Colosimo (Università La Sapienza, Rome, Italy) for his help in reviewing this infomation.

Further information

More information and support is available from the Stroke Association or the Stroke Alliance for Europe.

Related reading

Articles from Parkinson's Life online magazine

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