Types of Dyskinesia

The term dyskinesia can be used to broadly describe any type of abnormal or involuntary movement. There are a range of different types of dyskinesia, classified according to what part of the body is affected. Different types of abnormal movements are displayed by the people suffering from dyskinesia, depending on the severity of the disorder. Movements may include spasms, tics, involuntary jerking, fidgeting and a range of other purposeless movements.

Tardive dyskinesia

This movement disorder is caused by long term use of anti-psychotic medications, which are prescribed for people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The symptoms of this type of dyskinesia include repetitive, involuntary movements of the face, tongue, lips, torso and extremities. The uncontrolled movements of facial expressions are highly characteristic of this disorder. A physician must be involved in the treatment of this condition, and the patient’s medication may need to be changed to reverse the symptoms. However it can be difficult to treat, and symptoms may persist despite the withdrawal of medications.

Paroxysmal dyskinesia

In this type of movement disorder, patients experience symptoms during acute attacks, and then do not experience any symptoms until the next attack occurs. A single type of movement abnormality may occur during an attack, or a combination of symptoms may be displayed. People may experience writhing type movements involving changes in posture; severe involuntary movements of certain joints such as the shoulder knee, or hip; fidgeting type movements or any rapid involuntary movement of any part of the body that has no purpose. The cause of this disorder is thought to be due to dysfunction in part of the brain called the basal ganglia; however the reason why this problem occurs is largely unknown. It may possibly be an inherited disorder; and it may occur as a complication of some neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. It may also occur as a complication of other conditions such as AIDS. Depending on the cause of this dyskinesia, different types of medications are used to treat this condition.

Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD)

This dyskinesia is an inherited disorder that affects the cilia, the microscopic hairs that line the airways, ears, nose and sinuses. The cilia have a very important role in helping to keep these passageways clear. In this disorder, as the cilia do not move correctly, this leads to people regularly experiencing sinus, respiratory and ear infections. Cilia also line the reproductive organs, helping to move sperm and eggs through the reproductive tract. People with PCD often experience fertility difficulties, as the sperm and egg cannot be moved through the reproductive tract effectively. A comprehensive treatment program involving a range of medications is used in the treatment of this disorder, and there is no cure at this stage.

The different types of dyskinesia have different causes and treatments. Often there may not be a complete resolution of symptoms, but effective treatment may be able to improve a patient’s quality of life. Anyone who is experiencing any abnormal, involuntary movements should always consult with their doctor.

General Note:

This article is of a general nature and in no way should be seen as a substitute for your own doctor’s or health professional’s advice. The author accepts no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of the published information. Before commencing any health treatment, always consult your doctor.