Movement/motor disorders

Movement disorders are clinical syndromes with either an excess of movement or a paucity of voluntary and involuntary movements, unrelated to weakness or spasticity.

Movement disorders are basal ganglia or extrapyramidal diseases.

Movement disorders are conventionally divided into two major categories- hyperkinetic and hypokinetic.

Hyperkinetic movement disorders refer to dyskinesia, or excessive, often repetitive, involuntary movements that intrude upon the normal flow of motor activity.

Hypokinetic movement disorders refer to akinesia, the lack of movement, hypokinesia, the reduced amplitude of movements)bradykinesia (slow movement), and rigidity. 

In primary movement disorders, the abnormal movement is the primary manifestation of the disorder. 

In secondary movement disorders, the abnormal movement is a manifestation of another systemic or neurological disorder.


Hypokinetic Movement disorders

Parkinson’s disease (Primary or Idiopathic Parkinsonism)

Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration

Progressive Supranuclear Ophthalmoplegia

Striatonigral degeneration

Hyperkinetic Movement disorders


Drug induced dystonia

Idiopathic familial dystonia

Idiopathic nonfamilial dystonia

Spasmodic torticollis

Idiopathic orofacial dystonia


Other extrapyramidal movement disorders

Essential tremor

Drug induced tremor




Drug induced chorea

Rheumatic chorea (Sydenham’s chorea)

Huntington’s Chorea


Hemiballismus (affecting only one side of the body)

Athetosis (contorted torsion or twisting)

Dyskinesia (abnormal, involuntary movement)

Tardive dyskinesia

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (with hyperactivity)

Tic disorders (involuntary, compulsive, repetitive, stereotyped)

Tourette’s syndrome

Drug-induced tics and tics of organic origin

Stereotypic movement disorder

Paroxysmal nocturnal limb movement

Painful legs (or arms), moving toes (or fingers) syndrome

Sporadic restless leg syndrome

Familial restless leg syndrome

Stiff-person syndrome

Cramp and spasm


Diagnostic evaluation requires:

Decide the dominant type of movement disorder

Make differential diagnosis of the particular disorder

Confirm the diagnosis by lab tests

Testing includes:

Metabolic screening



CSF examination



Neurophysiological tests

Pharmacological tests


Treatment of element disorders depends upon the underlying disorder.

Movement disorders have been known to be associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases.

Motor disorders are disorders of the nervous system that cause abnormal and involuntary movements. 

They can result from damage to the motor system.

Motor disorders include developmental coordination disorder, stereotypic movement disorder, and the tic disorders including Tourette syndrome.

Motor disorders are malfunctions of the nervous system that cause involuntary or uncontrollable movements or actions of the body.

Motor disorders can cause lack of intended movement or an excess of involuntary movement.

Symptoms of motor disorders include tremors, jerks, twitches, spasms, contractions, or gait problems.

Tremor is the uncontrollable shaking of an arm or a leg. 

Twitches or jerks of body parts may occur due to a startling sound or unexpected, sudden pain. 

Spasms and contractions are temporary abnormal resting positions of hands or feet. 

Spasms are temporary while contractions could be permanent. 

Gait problems are problems with the way one walks or runs. 

This can mean an unsteady pace or dragging of the feet along with other possible irregularities.

Most motor disorders are caused by pathological changes in the brain.

Causes of motor disorders by genetic mutation usually affect the cerebrum.

There are constant signals being sent to and from the brain and the muscles that regulate the details of the movement such as speed and direction, so when a certain part of the brain malfunctions, the signals can be incorrect or uncontrollable causing involuntary or uncontrollable actions or movements.

Motor disorders refer to a wide range of conditions that affect the ability to control and coordinate movement.

Some common motor disorders include:

1. Parkinson’s disease: A progressive disorder that affects the nervous system, causing symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, slowed movements, and balance problems.

2. Cerebral palsy: A group of disorders that affect movement and coordination. 

It is typically caused by damage to the developing brain before, during, or shortly after birth and can result in difficulties with muscle control, reflexes, and coordination.

3. Multiple sclerosis: An autoimmune disease that targets the central nervous system, leading to various neurological symptoms such as muscle weakness, tremors, and coordination problems.

4. Huntington’s disease: A hereditary disorder that affects brain cells and causes a progressive decline in motor skills, resulting in involuntary movements, trouble with coordination, and difficulties with balance.

5. Dystonia: A condition characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause repetitive or twisting movements and abnormal postures.

6. Essential tremor: A neurological disorder that causes involuntary shaking or trembling, usually affecting the hands, but it can also affect other parts of the body.

Treatment and management options for motor disorders depend on the specific condition and its severity, and often involve a multidisciplinary approach, including medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, assistive devices, and lifestyle modifications. 

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