Peripheral dystonia is defined as sustained muscle contractions, frequently causing twisting and repetitive movements, or abnormal postures triggered by trauma to the peripheral or cranial nerves. Although a cause-and-effect relationship between central nervous system injury and subsequent dystonia is well established, the existence of such a relationship following peripheral injury is still a subject of controversy. There is increasing evidence, largely from clinical reports based on a strong temporal-anatomical relationship, supporting the association between peripheral nerve trauma and dystonia.
In this clinical summary, Dr. Corneliu Luca and Dr. Carlos Singer of the University of Miami discuss the mechanisms and the clinical characteristics of peripherally induced movement disorders and address the controversies existent in the field. This review focuses on the following fundamental questions: (1) What are possible underlying mechanisms of peripherally induced dystonia? (2) What factors predict or predispose an individual to the development of dystonia following peripheral injury? (3) What are the clinical characteristics of dystonic movements in peripheral dystonia compared to primary dystonia? (4) What are the prognoses and long-term outcomes in patients with peripheral dystonia?
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