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Head Face Med. 2006 Dec 7;2:47.

Eating dysfunction associated with oromandibular dystonia: clinical characteristics and treatment considerations.

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Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.



In oromandibular dystonia (OMD) abnormal repetitive contractions of masticatory, facial, and lingual muscles as well as the presence of orobuccolingual (OBL) dyskinesias may interfere with the appropriate performance of tasks such as chewing and swallowing leading to significant dysphagia and weight loss. We present here the clinical characteristics and treatment variables of a series of patients that developed an OMD-associated eating dysfunction.


We present a series of patients diagnosed and followed-up at the Movement Disorders Clinic of the Department of Neurology of University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine over a 10-year period. Patients were treated with botulinum toxin injections according to standard methods.


Five out of 32 (15.6%) OMD patients experienced symptoms of eating dysfunction associated with OMD. Significant weight loss was reported in 3/5 patients (ranged for 13-15 lbs). Two patients regained the lost weight after treatment and one was lost to follow-up. Tetrabenazine in combination with other antidystonic medication and/or botulinum toxin injections provided substantial benefit to the patients with dysphagia caused by OMD.


Dystonic eating dysfunction may occasionally complicate OMD leading to weight loss. Its adequate characterization at the time of history taking and clinical examination should be part of outcome measurements of the anti-dystonic treatment in clinical practice.

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