Phenomenology and classification of dystonia: A consensus update

Authors


  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the Acknowledgments section online.

Correspondence to: Dr. Alberto Albanese, Fondazione Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Via G. Celoria, 11, 20133 Milano, Italy; alberto.albanese@unicatt.it

ABSTRACT

This report describes the consensus outcome of an international panel consisting of investigators with years of experience in this field that reviewed the definition and classification of dystonia. Agreement was obtained based on a consensus development methodology during 3 in-person meetings and manuscript review by mail. Dystonia is defined as a movement disorder characterized by sustained or intermittent muscle contractions causing abnormal, often repetitive, movements, postures, or both. Dystonic movements are typically patterned and twisting, and may be tremulous. Dystonia is often initiated or worsened by voluntary action and associated with overflow muscle activation. Dystonia is classified along 2 axes: clinical characteristics, including age at onset, body distribution, temporal pattern and associated features (additional movement disorders or neurological features); and etiology, which includes nervous system pathology and inheritance. The clinical characteristics fall into several specific dystonia syndromes that help to guide diagnosis and treatment. We provide here a new general definition of dystonia and propose a new classification. We encourage clinicians and researchers to use these innovative definition and classification and test them in the clinical setting on a variety of patients with dystonia. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society

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