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Keywords:

  • cervical dystonia;
  • dynamic balance;
  • posturography;
  • stabilometer;
  • botulinum toxin

Abstract

Previous research by our group revealed normal dynamic balance function in pure tonic cervical dystonia (CD) with impaired equilibrium in phasic CD patients investigated at least 3 months following Botulinum toxin (BtxA) treatment. The current study was performed to determine whether impaired dynamic equilibrium in phasic CD is influenced by symptomatic treatment with BtxA. Dynamic balance was tested in 20 patients with phasic CD on a dynamic platform with a cylindrical curved base (stabilometer) 4 weeks following BtxA treatment. Balance was assessed by the linear displacement of the platform and the maximum amplitude of platform displacement with open and closed eyes and compared with pre-BtxA data. Despite a clinically significant BtxA-induced reduction of phasic head movements, none of the platform measures improved significantly. In addition, there was no correlation between the BtxA-induced clinical improvement and changes in any of the dynamic balance measures pre- vs. post-BtxA. In conclusion, the persistent dynamic balance impairment after effective BtxA therapy may indicate that disequilibrium in phasic CD does not simply reflect disturbed vestibular input from repetitive head oscillations, but argues in favour of different sensorimotor processing in tonic and phasic CD. © 2001 Movement Disorder Society.