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Mov Disord. 2013 Aug;28(9):1295-8. doi: 10.1002/mds.25463. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

Familial psychogenic movement disorders.

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  • 1Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, University College London Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom; Department of Neurology, University of Athens, Attiko Hospital, Athens, Greece; Neurology Clinic, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.



Psychogenic (or functional) movement disorders (PMDs) are considered sporadic. Despite the growing literature describing the clinical features and the natural history of sporadic cases with PMDs, their occurrence in familial clusters is not reported.


We identified 10 patients from 5 families affected by PMDs. In this report, we describe the clinical characteristics along with videos and long-term follow-up of these patients.


Clinical clues from the history and signs suggesting a functional origin of the symptoms in these patients with familial PMD were similar to those identified in sporadic cases. The phenomenology of the PMD was similar in the affected members of the same family.


We wish to highlight that a positive family history does not necessarily imply an organic disorder. When a positive family history for a condition is reported by a patient with PMD, examination of these further affected members may be needed and may identify further family members suffering from PMDs. A positive family history of PMDs may be an additional risk factor for developing PMDs. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society.

Copyright © 2013 Movement Disorder Society.


familial movement disorders; functional movement disorders; organic movement disorders; psychogenic movement disorders

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