What is the definition of Athetosis?
Athetosis is a movement disorder (dyskinesia) characterized by constant, sinuous, slow, irregular, and involuntary movements affecting the ends of limbs, especially the arms, that can be caused by injury or to basal ganglia (deep brain structures) that coordinate muscle movement or drug toxicity.
What are the symptoms for Athetosis?
Symptoms of athetosis may include a combination of involuntary, twisting, and jerking muscle movements, usually in the arms or legs. These movements may also include rapid jerking and involuntary contracting and stiffening of the muscles (spasticity). Patients with athetosis may lose the ability to sense where their body is located spatially and may sway or fall when standing with their eyes closed (Romberg sign).
What are the current treatments for Athetosis?
The treatment for athetosis is focused on alleviating or decreasing symptoms and may include the drugs, levodopa, clonazepam, baclofen, anticholinergics, tetrabenazine, deep brain stimulation, or surgery, which may provide successful treatment for some patients. However, most patients with athetosis do not improve with treatment.