Is increased blinking a form of blepharospasm?

Antonella Conte, Giovanni Defazio, Gina Ferrazzano, Mark Hallett, Antonella Macerollo, Giovanni Fabbrini, Alfredo Berardelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether increased blink rate (BR) is part of the clinical spectrum of primary blepharospasm (BSP). Methods: We enrolled 40 patients (16 patients with an increased BR but without typical orbicularis oculi [OO] spasms, and 24 patients with typical involuntary OO spasms) and 18 healthy subjects. The BR, blink reflex recovery cycle, and somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold (STDT) were tested in patients and controls. Results: Patients who had typical OO spasms had an altered R2 recovery cycle whereas those who had an increased BR alone had a normal blink reflex recovery cycle. STDT values were higher in patients than in healthy subjects and no difference was found in the STDT abnormalities in the 2 groups of patients. Conclusions: Our study shows that, despite the similar STDT abnormalities, the different changes in the R2 recovery cycle in patients with BSP and those with increased BR alone suggest that these disorders arise from different pathologic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2236-2241
Number of pages6
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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