Ataxia describes a lack of coordination while performing voluntary movements. It may appear as clumsiness, inaccuracy, or instability. Movements are not smooth, and may appear disjointed or jerky. Ataxia may affect any part of the body. When it affects the arms and hands, it may cause tremor due to over-correction of inaccurate movements, past-pointing when an attempted reach overshoots the target, and poor performance of regular, repeated movements, such as hand clapping. When ataxia affects mechanisms of walking, there will be instability with a tendency to fall. As a result, the child usually adopts a wide-based gait, with the feet spread further apart than the hips. Learn about the Examination, the Mechanism and Etiology, Workup and Treatments for Ataxia
Bradykinesia means "slow movement." In the context of childhood movement disorders, bradykinesia essentially refers to a component of parkinsonism. . A child with bradykinesia has slow and painstaking movements of the affected limbs. If the whole body is affected, Parkinsonism may affect one limb, one side of the body, or the entire body. In some cases, there are reduced movements of the face leading to an expressionless look referred to, in its extreme form, as a "mask face." Bradykinesia may affect one limb, one side of the body, or the entire body. The slowed movements are often most evident when the child is asked to make a rapid repetitive movement, such as tapping the fingers or repeatedly making a fist. Learn about the Examination, the Mechanism and Etiology, Workup and Treatments for Bradykinesia
Chorea is an irregular, rapid, uncontrolled, involuntary, excessive movement that seems to move randomly from one part of the body to another. The movements of chorea, athetosis, choreoathetosis, and ballism occur by themselves, without conscious attempts at movement. The affected child often appears fidgety or restless and unable to sit still. When chorea is severe, the movements may cause motion of the arms or legs that results in throwing whatever is in the hand or falling to the ground. Walking may become bizarre, with inserted excessive postures and leg movements. Unlike parkinsonism, which is an inability to make voluntary movements, or ataxia and dystonia, which affect the quality of voluntary movements, the movements of chorea, athetosis, choreoathetosis, and ballism occur by themselves, without conscious attempts at movement. In some cases, attempts to move may make the symptoms worse. Learn about the Examination, the Mechanism and Etiology, Workup and Treatments for Chorea
Dystonia is usually defined as "a syndrome of sustained muscle contractions, frequently causing twisting and repetitive movements, or abnormal postures." In fact, the muscle contractions related to dystonia may be quite rapid and not sustained; the movements may not be repetitive and not lead to fixed postures. Dystonia may be considered as the production of one pattern of muscle activity when a different pattern was intended. Therefore, it is a proven challenge to establish a single definition of dystonia. It is important to realize that, despite its name, there is often no abnormal muscle tone in children with dystonia. This means that, upon examination, a dystonic limb may or may not have increased resistance to movement. Learn about the Examination, the Mechanism and Etiology, Workup and Treatments for Dystonia
Most people take for granted their ability to control their body movement, but for millions of children, it is difficult or impossible. This web site offers information for parents, healthcare professionals, and others whose lives are affected by children's movement disorders. Kids Move is WE MOVE's new Web site devoted to pediatric movement disorders. Healthcare professionals and parents may access up-to-date information about the recognition, assessment, treatment, and avenues of support that are available for individuals concerned with childhood movement disorders.
Child-Movement Disorder Treaments
This section explains how various treatments, like physical therapy, home therapy, alternative therapies, medications benefit childhood movement disorders.
Myoclonus is "sudden, brief, jerky, shock-like, involuntary movements". The movements are quite rapid and may be triggered by attempts at voluntary movement, sensory stimulation, or startle. Myoclonus may cause rhythmic jerks, in which case, it is termed a "myoclonic tremor." Myoclonus is categorized based upon the likely source of movement. Such sources include cortical or subcortical areas or the spinal cord. Cortical myoclonus is thought to be due to a lack of inhibition in the sensory or motor cortex. Myoclonus may be severely disabling, particularly when it is triggered by movement. In some cases, it may also be very mild. The most common example of a mild myoclonus is sleep myoclonus. In this form of myoclonus "jerks" occur while the individual is falling asleep. Learn about the Examination, the Mechanism and Etiology, Workup and Treatments for Myoclonus
Spasticity is a velocity-dependent increase in resistance to passive movement of a limb. This means that if you try to move the child's arm or leg, resistance increases as the speed of the movement is increased. In some cases, the rapid increase in resistance leads to a "catch" as the limb is moved, with a subsequent "release" of the resistance once the limb stops moving. Spasticity is one symptom of the "upper motor neuron syndrome," a condition caused by damage to portions of the brain or spinal cord controlling movement. Learn about the Examination, the Mechanism and Etiology, Workup and Treatments for Spasticity.
Child-Tics (not usually associated with JHD)
In this section, several complex motor phenomena are defined, including tics, compulsions, stereotypies, mannerisms, and habits. Syndromes that have a sense of motor restlessness, including akathisia and restless legs syndrome, are also defined.
Child-Tremors (not normally associated with JHD)
Tremor in children may be caused by familial essential tremor, focal epilepsy, or a psychogenic movement disorder. Tremor may occur while at rest or with movement. Tremor is often seen with ataxia, dystonia, or myoclonus. Learn about the Examination, the Mechanism and Etiology, Workup and Treatments for tremors
Enter main content here