Onset and progression of primary torsion dystonia in sporadic and familial cases

A. E. Elia, G. Filippini, A. R. Bentivoglio, A. Fasano, T. Ialongo, A. Albanese

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Four hundred and sixty records of patients with primary torsion dystonia (296 women and 164 men) were evaluated. The mean age at disease onset was 48.3 ± 17.7 years; 13 patients carried the DYT1 CAG deletion. The distribution of age at onset was represented by a bi-modal curve, with a nadir at 21 year separating early onset from late onset cases. In 15.9% of cases there was a positive family history of dystonia. Cranial, cervical or lower limb onset was more common amongst women (M:F ratios were 1:2.7, 1:1.9, and 1:3); by contrast, onset in the upper limb was more common in men (M:F ratio 2.2:1). As expected, disease progression was more pronounced in cases with early onset; it was reckoned that onset at or above 32 years was associated with a negligible likelihood to progress to a generalized form. The mean age at onset of familial cases was 44.8 ± 11.2 years, significantly lower than the mean age at onset of sporadic cases (53.5 ± 13.4 years). Familial cases were characterized by more sites involved throughout disease course. Familial cases had a higher tendency to progress to a segmental or generalized form than sporadic cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1088
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Dystonia
  • DYT1
  • Familial cases
  • Genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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