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April 1959

Deviation of the Head

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(4):442-457. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340160040007

Deviation of the head * can occur in different individual planes or combinations of these. Basically, the head can be rotated about the vertebral axis, or the axis may be flexed either ventrally or laterally. Slight deviations are often due to unidirectional displacements, but severe disabilities are usually of compound nature, and it is these which are commonly called torticollis, or wryneck. It is customary to divide torticolles into those due to local muscular, labyrinthine, or central neural causes. To these must be added those due to, or complicated by, skeletal or dermal involvement, but such interpretative classifications must be converted into observational equivalents before they are of any immediate value to the clinician who has a patient before him. For this reason it is useful not only to distinguish between deviations of the head which are of a sustained (tonic torticollis), as contrasted with a clonic (spasmodic torticollis), nature, but

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