Clinical Edge

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Traits Related to Cervical Dystonia Examined

Mov Disord; 2016 Dec; Norris, Jinnah, et al

Subgroups of idiopathic isolated cervical dystonia participants had modest but significant differences in the clinical characteristics that may represent different clinical entities or pathophysiologic subtypes, a recent study found. The Dystonia Coalition, through a consortium of 37 recruiting sites in North America, Europe, and Australia, recruited 1,477 participants with focal (60.7%) or segmental (39.3%) cervical dystonia on examination. Clinical and demographic characteristics were evaluated in terms of the body region of dystonia onset and spread. Researchers found:

  • Site of dystonia onset was: (1) focal neck only (78.5%), (2) focal onset elsewhere with later segmental spread to neck (13.3%), and (3) segmental onset with initial neck involvement (8.2%).
  • Frequency of spread from focal cervical to segmental dystonia (22.8%) was consistent with prior reports, but frequency of segmental onset with initial neck involvement was substantially higher than the 3% previously reported.
  • Cervical dystonia with focal neck onset, more than other subtypes, was associated with spread and tremor of any type.


Norris SA, Jinnah HA, Espay AJ, et al. Clinical and demographic characteristics related to onset site and spread of cervical dystonia. Mov Disord. 2016;(31)12:1874–1882. doi:10.1002/mds.26817.