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Emerging common molecular pathways for primary dystonia


  • Supported by the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, Tyler's Hope for a Dystonia Cure and the NINDS (P50 NS038370) (William T. Dauer).

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the Acknowledments section online.

Correspondence to: Professor Thomas T. Warner, Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies, UCL Institute of Neurology, 1 Wakefield Street, London WC1N 1PJ, UK;


The dystonias are a group of hyperkinetic movement disorders whose principal cause is neuron dysfunction at 1 or more interconnected nodes of the motor system. The study of genes and proteins that cause familial dystonia provides critical information about the cellular pathways involved in this dysfunction, which disrupts the motor pathways at the systems level. In recent years study of the increasing number of DYT genes has implicated a number of cell functions that appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of dystonia. A review of the literature published in English-language publications available on PubMed relating to the genetics and cellular pathology of dystonia was performed. Numerous potential pathogenetic mechanisms have been identified. We describe those that fall into 3 emerging thematic groups: cell-cycle and transcriptional regulation in the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope function, and control of synaptic function. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society