Rapid elbow movements in patients with torsion dystonia

W. Van der Kamp, A. Berardelli, J. C. Rothwell, P. D. Thompson, B. L. Day, C. D. Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapid, self paced and self terminated elbow flexion movements were studied in a group of 10 patients with dystonia affecting the arms. The movements were slower and for small amplitude movements, more variable than those recorded in normal subjects. The duration of the first agonist burst was prolonged, even when compared with normal subjects deliberately moving slowly. Cocontraction of agonist and antagonist muscles during ballistic movements was common and may contribute to the bradykinesia. These findings are compared with similar studies of other diseases of the motor system. Unlike many other conditions which also reduce the speed of ballistic voluntary movements, the patients with dystonia in the present study showed a normal symmetry of acceleration and deceleration time. One interpretation of this finding is that aspects of the basic motor programmes are relatively preserved in this condition and account for the surprising retention of motor skills shown by some patients with dystonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1049
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid elbow movements in patients with torsion dystonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this