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August 1962

Dystonia Reversal by Operation on Basal Ganglia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, New York University School of Medicine and the Department of Neurosurgery, St. Barnabas Hospital.; Professor of Research Surgery, New York University School of Medicine, and Director, Department of Neurosurgery, St. Barnabas Hospital.

Arch Neurol. 1962;7(2):132-145. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.04210020054007

In earlier reports the author has reported the alleviation of dystonia by means of lesions surgically placed in the basal ganglia.1 The present paper represents an extension of the work with dystonia and is based on 100 consecutive cases, 50 with idiopathic dystonia (dystonia musculorum deformans) and 50 with dystonia secondary to other known syndromes.

The movements of dystonia are slow and involuntary and are initiated or exaggerated by voluntary action. The apparently purposeless movements are like those of athetosis, but, unlike those of athetosis, usually involve the trunk and often lead to a twisting action in the entire body. Characteristically, the symptoms develop during childhood or early adolescence, beginning in one lower extremity with plantar flexion, inversion, and adduction of the foot. The dystonia gradually spreads throughout that extremity, then involves the other lower extremity. In some instances the hand is first affected, most commonly manifesting hyperflexion during

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