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Neurol Clin. 2015 Feb;33(1):137-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2014.09.014.

Paroxysmal movement disorders.

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Department of Neurology, Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, 6560 Fannin, Suite 802, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Department of Neurology, Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, 6550 Fannin, Suite 1801, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:


Paroxysmal dyskinesias represent a group of episodic abnormal involuntary movements manifested by recurrent attacks of dystonia, chorea, athetosis, or a combination of these disorders. Paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia, paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia, paroxysmal exertion-induced dyskinesia, and paroxysmal hypnogenic dyskinesia are distinguished clinically by precipitating factors, duration and frequency of attacks, and response to medication. Primary paroxysmal dyskinesias are usually autosomal dominant genetic conditions. Secondary paroxysmal dyskinesias can be the symptoms of different neurologic and medical disorders. This review summarizes the updates on etiology, pathophysiology, genetics, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, and treatment of paroxysmal dyskinesias and other episodic movement disorders.


Episodic ataxia; Paroxysmal choreoathetosis; Paroxysmal dyskinesia; Paroxysmal dystonia

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