There is little experience with the effect of pregnancy on Parkinson disease because the number of women with Parkinson disease who are of childbearing age is small. We report four cases beginning during the postpartum period and discuss the potential contribution of different factors that may influence the occurrence of Parkinson disease in this time period.
Four women aged 29–35 years developed arm tremor, shoulder pain, dizziness, or decreased dexterity of the hand in the first few days or months after childbirth. They were initially diagnosed with postpartum depression or psychogenic parkinsonism. Finally, dopamine transporter imaging confirmed the diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson disease.
Early-onset Parkinson disease may present in postpartum women. In women with atypical motor symptoms in addition to depression, this diagnosis should be considered.