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Pseudodystonia: A new perspective on an old phenomenon

Berlot, R; Bhatia, KP; Kojović, M; (2019) Pseudodystonia: A new perspective on an old phenomenon. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders , 62 pp. 44-50. 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.02.008. Green open access

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Abstract

Pseudodystonia represents a wide range of conditions that mimic dystonia, including disorders of the peripheral nervous system, spinal cord, brainstem, thalamus, cortex and non-neurological conditions such as musculoskeletal diseases. Here, we propose a definition of pseudodystonia and suggest a classification based on underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. We describe phenomenology of different forms of pseudodystonia and point to distinctions between dystonia and pseudodystonia as well as challenging issues that may arise in clinical practice. The term pseudodystonia can be used to describe abnormal postures, repetitive movements or both, in which results of clinical, imaging, laboratory or electrophysiological investigations provide definite explanation of symptoms which is not compatible with dystonia. Pseudodystonia can be classified into non-neurological disorders of the musculoskeletal system, disorders of sensory pathways, disorders of motor pathways and compensatory postures in other neurological diseases. Presence of associated neurological findings in the affected body part is the key towards diagnosis of pseudodystonia. Additional supporting features are the presence of fixed postures, the absence of sensory trick, acute mode of onset and severe pain. Worsening on eye closure, traditionally considered typical for pseudodystonia, is not always present and can also appear in dystonia. It is challenging to separate dystonia and pseudodystonia in patients with thalamic lesions or corticobasal syndrome, where abnormal postures coexist with sensory loss. Many cases of pseudodystonia are treatable. Therefore, it is essential to consider pseudodystonia in a differential diagnosis of abnormal postures until a detailed neurological examination rules it out.

Type: Article
Title: Pseudodystonia: A new perspective on an old phenomenon
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.02.008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.02.008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071150
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