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Rev Neurol (Paris). 2003 Oct;159(10 Pt 1):849-56.

Dystonia: phenotypes and genotypes.

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Beth Israel Medical Center-Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, Department of Neurology, New York, NY 10003, USA.


Despite clinical and genetic complexity of dystonia, knowledge of primary torsion dystonia and dystonia-plus syndromes was recently expanded. Part of the category of primary dystonia includes genetic forms (DYT1, DYT6, DYT13). The DYTI mutation, with predominant limbs (95p. 100) and neck and trunk (25-35p. 100) involvement accounts for about 80p. 100 of the early onset cases in the Ashkenazi population and of 16-53p. 100 in the non- Ashkenazi population. The dystonia-plus group is defined by the association of parkinsonism (dopa-responsive-dystonia and rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism) or myoclonus (myoclonus-dystonia). Dopa-responsive-dystonia is a heterogeneous group with several causes (GCH1 mutations, compound mutations in GCH1, mutations in TH gene, or in 6-PTS gene). Differential diagnosis could be juvenile parkinsonism (parkin mutations). Epsilon-sarcoglycan mutation accounts for a sub-group of myoclonus-dystonia, but other genes are still unidentified. The vast majority of dystonia are sporadic and still unexplained. Functional imaging may bring new insights in disease mechanisms. Because of phenotypic overlaps, within dystonia, new classifications based on functional markers may emerge.

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