Extrapyramidal signs, primitive reflexes and frontal lobe function in senile dementia of the Alzheimer type.

D M Girling , G E Berrios

Abstract

Of 146 elderly subjects suffering from Alzheimer-type dementia, 44% were found to have significant extrapyramidal signs. Although extrapyramidal signs were more common in those who had taken neuroleptic drugs in the preceding six months, 22 subjects (15%) who were drug free also had extrapyramidal signs. Scores for cognitive function and for 'frontal lobe' signs (verbal fluency, evidence of perseveration, and primitive reflexes) were found to correlate well with scores for extrapyramidal signs, suggesting that they reflect changes in a common substratum. It is tentatively suggested that this might be an abnormality in the dopamine system.