Motor and non-motor symptoms in blepharospasm: clinical and pathophysiological implications

Gina Ferrazzano, Isabella Berardelli, Antonella Conte, Viola Baione, Cristina Concolato, Daniele Belvisi, Giovanni Fabbrini, Giovanni Defazio, Alfredo Berardelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Patients with blepharospasm in addition to involuntary contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle also have non-motor symptoms (psychiatric, sleep, cognitive, and ocular). In this paper, we investigated the relationship of non-motor with motor symptoms and the total burden of non-motor symptoms in patients with blepharospasm. Results were compared with those of age- and sex-matched healthy controls.

METHODS: We enrolled 60 patients with blepharospasm and 40 age-matched healthy controls. In all patients, the severity of blepharospasm was assessed clinically with the Blepharospasm Severity Rating Scale. All the participants underwent a psychiatric, sleep, cognitive, and ocular symptom evaluation. We investigated the correlations between motor, non-motor symptoms, and patients' clinical and demographic features.

RESULTS: The frequency of psychiatric, sleep, and cognitive disorders and ocular symptoms was higher in blepharospasm patients than in healthy controls. Non-motor symptoms coexisted in the majority of patients and there was no correlation between non-motor and motor symptoms. The total burden of non-motor symptoms did not associate with motor symptoms and demographic features in blepharospasm.

CONCLUSIONS: Non-motor symptoms are independent of motor features and likely belong to the clinical spectrum of blepharospasm. The presence of non-motor symptoms possibly reflects a complex network disorder of blepharospasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2780-2785
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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