Tendon jerks in Parkinson's disease

J. P. Hammerstad, K. Elliott, E. Mak, M. Schulzer, S. Calne, D. B. Calne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Tendon reflexes were examined in 119 patients with idiopathic parkinsonism (IP) and 40 spouse controls to estimate the type and frequency of any alterations in the reflexes. Forty one of 119 patients and 2 of 40 controls had reflex ratings of 3+ at two or more sites (p<0.001). There was no correlation of reflex score with the severity of disease or with the cardinal signs of IP. In 21 patients with asymmetric tendon jerks the side with the more active reflexes correlated with the side with greater parkinsonian signs. We conclude that an increase in tendon jerks is a feature of IP. The pathophysiology of this change in reflexes should be investigated further to establish if it is a heretofore overlooked manifestation of basal ganglia dysfunction or a link with other neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission - Parkinsons Disease and Dementia Section
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • Parkinson's disease
  • tendon reflexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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