- Movement disorders are a subspecialty of neurology focused on abnormal movements that can result from:
- Brain dysfunction
- Exposure to toxins or medications
- Illnesses that affect the entire body
- Movements can be graded on a scale of “too much” to “too little.”
- Hyperkinetic – Too much or excessive movement
- Hypokinetic – Not enough or too little movement, also described as “parkinsonian”
- Movements are often differentiated by their speed from fast to slow.
- It’s the fastest involuntary movement.
- It appears as a sudden, brief muscle twitch or jerk that can cause a jump or jolt in the affected body part.
- Hiccups – Myoclonus of the diaphragm
- Hypnic jerks – Body jerks that occur as a person falls to sleep
- Movements are localized to one region or the whole body.
- Brain and spinal cord disease
- Organ failure
- Depends on the cause
- Anti-seizure drugs are often used
- A sudden explosive, violent movement affects an entire limb or the whole body.
- It appears like wild flailing or flinging, usually on one side of the body.
- It may be associated with a stroke.
- Movements or vocal sounds occur suddenly, repetitively, and/or nonrhythmically.
- Excessive blinking
- Shoulder shrugs
- Throat clearing
- Other family members often have them too.
- They’re often associated with obsessive-compulsive traits.
- Semi-voluntary movements are usually preceded by an urge or inner sensation of mounting tension, and execution of the movement often provides some temporary relief.
- They’re worsened by stress, fatigue, and excitement.
- A diagnosis of Tourette syndrome is made if a person has both motor tics and vocalizations.
- Treatments vary according to severity.
- These back-and-forth rhythmic movements can be fast or slow.
- Fast tremors include medication-induced tremors and essential tremors (isolated tremors that occurs with movement and without any other neurologic signs).
- Slow tremors are more often associated with Parkinson’s disease.
- Thyroid disease can cause tremors.
- Treatment depends on the cause.
Chorea and athetosis
- Chorea and athetosis are irregular and unpredictable writhing, squirming, jerky, and snakelike movements that flow across body parts.
- Chorea comes from the Greek word for “dance.”
- Chorea is a primary sign of Huntington’s disease.
- Movements can be focal or generalized.
- A sustained pattern of movement appears as turning or twisting.
- Neck – Cervical dystonia (the most common)
- Hand – Writer’s cramp
- Eyelid – Blepharospasm
- Botulinum toxin injection
- Botulinum toxin injection
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS) can be performed for generalized dystonia.
- Read the website document Advanced Therapeutics for more information.
- Slowness or scarcity of movement seen in parkinsonism
- Muscle stiffness
- Disordered, uncoordinated, or clumsy movements usually due to dysfunction of the cerebellum or brainstem
- Sometimes a result of intoxication