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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Nov;75(11):1568-74.

Post-stroke movement disorders: report of 56 patients.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Eugenio Espejo Hospital, PO Box 17-07-9515, Quito, Ecuador, South America. alyosha@access.net.ec



Although movement disorders that occur following a stroke have long been recognised in short series of patients, their frequency and clinical and imaging features have not been reported in large series of patients with stroke.


We reviewed consecutive patients with involuntary abnormal movements (IAMs) following a stroke who were included in the Eugenio Espejo Hospital Stroke Registry and they were followed up for at least one year after the onset of the IAM. We determined the clinical features, topographical correlations, and pathophysiological implications of the IAMs.


Of 1500 patients with stroke 56 developed movement disorders up to one year after the stroke. Patients with chorea were older and the patients with dystonia were younger than the patients with other IAMs. In patients with isolated vascular lesions without IAMs, surface lesions prevailed but patients with deep vascular lesions showed a higher probability of developing abnormal movements. One year after onset of the IAMs, 12 patients (21.4%) completely improved their abnormal movements, 38 patients (67.8%) partially improved, four did not improve (7.1%), and two patients with chorea died. In the nested case-control analysis, the patients with IAMs displayed a higher frequency of deep lesions (63% v 33%; OR 3.38, 95% CI 1.64 to 6.99, p<0.001). Patients with deep haemorrhagic lesions showed a higher probability of developing IAMs (OR 4.8, 95% CI 0.8 to 36.6).


Chorea is the commonest movement disorder following stroke and appears in older patients. Involuntary movements tend to persist despite the functional recovery of motor deficit. Deep vascular lesions are more frequent in patients with movement disorders.

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