, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 343-346
Date: 16 Feb 2011

The diagnosis of postencephalitic parkinsonism at the neurological unit of Boston City Hospital, 1930–1981

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The objective of the study is to ascertain the rationale for the diagnosis of postencephalitic parkinsonism (PEP) at Boston City Hospital’s Neurological Unit (1930–1981). 5,270 discharge summaries were evaluated for the diagnoses of PEP. Sixteen cases of PEP were identified; the diagnosis of PEP was justified in approximately half of these cases based on the published criteria for distinguishing PEP from Parkinson’s disease (PD). In conclusions, the absence of a clear justification for the diagnosis of PEP in many of the 16 cases suggests that the accepted relationship between encephalitis lethargica and PEP may be less definitive than currently believed.