Clinical and Demographic Characteristics of Upper Limb Dystonia

Scott A. Norris*, Hyder A. Jinnah, Christine Klein, Joseph Jankovic, Brian D. Berman, Emmanuel Roze, Abhimanyu Mahajan, Alberto J. Espay, Avinash V. Murthy, Victor S.C. Fung, Mark S. LeDoux, Florence C.F. Chang, Marie Vidailhet, Claudia Testa, Richard Barbano, Irene A. Malaty, Tobias Bäumer, Sebastian Loens, Laura J. Wright, Joel S. Perlmutter

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Knowledge of characteristics in upper limb dystonia remains limited, derived primarily from small, single-site studies. Objective: The objective of this study was to characterize demographic and clinical characteristics of upper limb dystonia from the Dystonia Coalition data set, a large, international, multicenter resource. Methods: We evaluated clinical and demographic characteristics of 367 participants with upper limb dystonia from onset, comparing across subcategories of focal (with and without dystonia spread) versus nonfocal onset. Results: Focal onset occurred in 80%; 67% remained focal without spread. Task specificity was most frequent in this subgroup, most often writer's cramp and affecting the dominant limb (83%). Focal onset with spread was more frequent in young onset (<21 years). Focal onset occurred equally in women and men; nonfocal onset affected women disproportionately. Conclusions: Upper limb dystonia distribution, focality, and task specificity relate to onset age and likelihood of regional spread. Observations may inform clinical counseling and design, execution, and interpretation of future studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 26.08.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Medical Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical and Demographic Characteristics of Upper Limb Dystonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this