What is a Movement Disorder?
In our everyday life, we come across people whose body movement is restricted, which would not be considered normal. They may have small jerky movements of their limbs or even heads. As long as this does not happen to someone who is close to us we either ignore or at times, make mimicry, of that person’s gait. When it happens to near and dear ones we try to correct his or her gait and movement abnormalities assuming that these are just acquired bad habits. This is very frequent when the individual is a child and the poor little soul has to withstand tons of sermons.
While the person afflicted with movement aberrations – especially the little child – may keep listening to corrective sermons it is time that we quickly get to know the facts that often lead to such movement abnormalities.
Causes of Movement Disorder
The most discussed and rigorously researched malady is the Huntington’s disease. It is basically a hereditary or inherited disease in which there is degeneration, meaning a progressive breakdown of the person’s brain nerve cells. This disease creates a broad-based impact on the functional abilities of the person including his movement apart from his thinking abilities thereby creating psychiatric disorders. This is just for information since Huntington’s disease gets mentioned whenever there are difficulties and abnormalities in movements.
There is another way in which such movement disorders can occur and it is by acquiring some antibodies or lymphocytes which create movement disorders. This article will focus on the acquired or autoimmune Chorea – the medical term for movement difficulties or disorders.
Kinds of Movement Disorders
There can be many types in which such movement disorder gets manifested but the manner in which these are evident are as follows:(1)
- Involuntary or unintended jerking or even some kind of writhing movements
- Muscles becoming rigid and contracted resulting in movement restrictions or problems.
- Eye movement becoming abnormal or may be slow.
- Gait and posture is Impaired together with difficulties in maintaining body balance
- Movements related to the mouth area like swallowing or even speech becomes difficult.
The above list is only representative and not exhaustive.
Research shows that certain manifestations of Huntington’s disease-related chorea (abnormalities in movement) could have been caused by acquiring autoimmune chorea. The distinction between the inherited types of movement issues and those by acquired chorea are very thin and only specialized medical examination can identify which one is what. The distinction between the two is discernable to the trained clinical eye of the medical expert.
The experts in this field will talk of many varieties of abnormalities and the list (certainly not exhaustive) includes Chorea, Dyskinesia, Dystonia, Myoclonus, Paroxysmal dyskinesia, Parkinsonism and the list goes on.
What To Do When Someone Suffers From Movement Disorder?
If someone shows movement disorders or difficulties then the best and only suggested way out is to seek proper medical help.(1) To start with avoid discussing this with people around you and straight away find a neurologist who can really get to the bottom of the malady and get started on a course of action.(2) It should be borne in mind that all the acquired or inherited maladies may not be fully curable but with immediate medical attention the resulting problems are contained and, if one is lucky, get fully eliminated permanently. Hence it is only natural to suggest that instead of wasting time on unnecessary suggestions or wasteful efforts, one should learn to treat this as sickness and get medical help.(2)
When someone gets stuck by such movement disorder problems there is every possibility that he or she gets subjected to social ridicule. Despite the individual’s feeling the sting of the ridicule faced the individual can do very little to overcome the difficulties. It is during this time that the closer circle – family and friends – should get updated about the abnormalities being fully medical in origin and the person would very much like to get over it. Thus the first and immediate step for the closer people is to get in touch with a doctor who specializes in treating such problems related to movement disorders. The traditional belief of the individual’s mischievous outlook to be the prime cause for such movement problems is to be discarded immediately.
Let us get one thing clear; this is just another sickness like fever, headache or stomach disorder. Instead of relying on home remedies or believing that the symptoms came without notice will also disappear slowly, the most rewarding thing to do is to appreciate this as sickness and get appropriate medical help.
- Huizen, Jennifer. What You Need to Know About Dyskinesia, Medical News Today, 2017 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319744.php
- Balint B, Vincent A, Meinck HM, Irani SR, Bhatia KP, Movement disorders with neuronal antibodies: syndromic approach, genetic parallels and pathophysiology, Oxford University Press, 2018, p. 141(1): 13-36, Doi: 10.1093/brain/awx189 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29053777