Limb dystonia following electrical injury

Authors

  • Dr. Daniel Tarsy,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Deaconess Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    • Division of Neurology, Deaconess Hospital, 110 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02215, U.S.A.
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  • Lewis Sudarsky,

    1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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  • Michael E. Charness

    1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Electrical injuries of the extremities may cause paralysis, muscle atrophy, sensory deficit, causalgia, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Limb dystonia has rarely been reported following electrical injury to an extremity, although it may result from cerebral hemisphere electrical trauma. Following electrical injury to the upper extremity, three patients developed limb dystonia accompanied by severe pain and sensory symptoms in two patients and features of RSD in one patient. Two patients received botulinum toxin injections without functional benefit. The mechanism of dystonia following peripheral trauma is unknown but may relate to reorganization of central synaptic connections, possibly in the spinal cord.

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