Movement disorders are often defined as neurologic conditions that cause problems with bodily movements. In such a case the body might tend to cause
Either Increased movement that can be voluntary (intentional) or involuntary (unintended), or Decreased or slow voluntary movement
To understand Movement disorders better , we can broadly classify them into the following two categories- hyperkinetic and hypo kinetic.
As the word suggests, Hyperkinetic movement disorders refer to dyskinesia, or excessive movement which is often repetitive. These involuntary movements tend to intrude upon the normal flow of movements.
On the other hand, Hypo kinetic movement disorders refer to either akinesia (lack of movement), or hypokinesia (reduced amplitude of movements), or even bradykinesia (slow movement) and rigidity.
In case where the movement disorders are characterized as primary the abnormal movement is the primary manifestation of the disorder.
In secondary movement disorders, the abnormal movement is often caused as a result of of another existing systemic or neurological disorder
The symptoms of movement disorder may vary depending on the type of disorder a person is suffering from. However, any movement disorder may cause some or most of the following symptoms:
- excessive spontaneous movements,
- abnormal involuntary movements,
- Pause in or absence of movements, associated with rigidity and spasticity of muscles. Abnormal movements that may be rhythmic, irregular, sustained or jerky.
- twitches, flapping or writhing movements of the arms and/or head and
- Abnormal sounds or grunts.
These symptoms may lead to severe disability and difficulty in leading a normal life for a person suffering from this disorder. Such patients need constant care and supervision for day to day activities, including everything from eating and sleeping to even personal hygiene.
Most movement disorders begin slowly and in most cases, a patient may not even realize it. There may be initial weakness and stiffness of the muscles, which is usually an onset of involuntary movements.
Symptoms may also tend to vary with reference to duration or time of the day or night when they occur or increase/decrease .
The causes of movement disorder can range from mental to physical instability. However, in most cases it is noticed that the following tend to cause these disorders
- Stress anxiety and emotional disturbances
- Chronic diseases
- Alcohol consumption
- Iron deficiency
- Excessive copper in the body
- Neurodegenerative conditions
Amongst the varying causes of movement disorders research implicates that genetics is the most common amongst these. While stress and anxiety also play a vital role as they tend to trigger blood pressure levels, that might lead to defects in the brain.
While outlining therapy of movement disorders it is important to note that there are a range of movement disorders and each need spate attention and diagnosis although most of them are treated with the same armament of medications.
Movement disorders begin with the study and diagnose of the brain and accordingly drugs that may help in therapy of these conditions are prescribed.