Movement disorders are neurological conditions that affect the speed, fluency, quality, and ease of movement. Abnormal fluency or speed of movement (called dyskinesia) may involve excessive or involuntary movement (hyperkinesia) or slowed or absent voluntary movement (hypokinesia). Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract.
The mean age at diagnosis was 52.4 ± 12.0 years (range, 14-82 years). At the time of diagnosis, only 25% of patients were working, 73% were living independently, 66% were able to drive a car and 97% able to walk unaided. These abilities deteriorated steadily with time and 10 years after the diagnosis all patients were pensioners, unable to drive and only one (3%) lived independently. However, 36% were still able to walk unaided or with minimal aid at 10 years.
Anticholinergics, including trihexyphenidyl (Artane) and benztropine (Benztrop MES, Cogentin), block acetylcholine receptors in the brain. Acetylcholine receptors are integral proteins that respond to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by opening a pathway in the membrane for ion diffusion across the cell membrane. Side effects include dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, urinary retention and rapid heart rate.
Orthopedic surgery may be performed to correct a contracture. During contracture release surgery, the tendon of a contractured muscle is cut, the joint repositioned to a more normal angle, and a cast is applied. Regrowth of the tendon to this new length occurs over several weeks following surgery. After the cast is removed, physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles and improve range of motion.