Movement disorder is a neurological condition that affects the voluntary and involuntary functioning of muscles without a significant paralysis.1 They arise from non-functioning or malfunctioning of the brain, spinal cord or nervous system. It affects both voluntary and involuntary functions of muscles such as breathing, speech, swallowing, movement of the limbs, etc. It is caused due to various reasons such as genetic changes, injury or trauma, cancerous or noncancerous growth in the brain, infections, toxins, metabolic disorders etc. Its symptoms include spasms, tremor, jerks, dystonia, etc.
What Are The Different Types Of Movement Disorders?
Movement disorders are neurological disorders that influence the quality, speed, and fluency of voluntary muscle movements. It disrupts the daily routine even simple day-to-day activities like writing, swallowing, walking, etc.
The different types of movement disorders are-
Ataxia– It is a disorder that disrupts the balance and control of muscles functioning for walking, running and other activities related to locomotion.2 It affects posture and coordination of muscles leading to staggered gait. Alcohol consumption is the main cause of this disorder.
Chorea– Chorea is a movement disorder that causes irregular, uncontrollable and unpredictable jerky movements of a part of the body.3 These jerky movements may pass from one part to another part of the body. It is irregular and unpredictable.
Dystonia– It is a movement disorder that is characterized by sustained contraction and spasm of the muscles. It causes twisting and repetitive movement of the muscles.4 It usually involves a single part of the body like eyelids, hands, face, and mouth. It causes blepharospasm (involuntary closing of eyes) or writer’s cramps.
Dysphonia– It is a movement disorder characterized by abnormal movement of muscles involved in speech and voice production. The voice becomes hoarse, quirky and jerky.
Huntington’s Disease– It is a genetic disorder that affects muscle movements. It is caused due to atrophy of voluntary motor neurons located in the brain; it leads to chronic progressive jerky movements of a group of muscles. In this disorder, the patient develops abnormalities in emotional, behavioral and psychiatric functions.
Parkinson’s Disease– Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition that causes severe debilities. It affects one person in 500 people. Its causes are not clear. But it is assumed that genetic or environmental causes may trigger them. It results in inadequate production of dopamine in the brain cells which act as a chemical messenger among these cells. It causes rigidity of muscles, tremors, improper movements of the face and a shortened shuffling gait. The patient cannot perform his normal activities and cannot cope up with the disease alone. He always depends on his caretaker.
Tremors– Tremors are the most common movement disorders. It is also known as essential tremor. It usually affects people under the age of 40 years and very few above 65 years. It usually affects muscles of hands and feet, rarely head or tongue. It leads to shaky movements of fingers or hand. The patient cannot perform simple activities like holding up a cup or perform a normal task like writing, pouring tea in the cup, etc. These tremors appear in rhythm and are pendulous in nature. They can cause severe disabilities in the long term. They can even appear during the rest. Anxiety, too much fatigue or consumption of caffeine may even cause these tremors.
Tics– This movement disorder is characterized by repetitive twitching or jerking of a group of muscles. This may lead to movements like blinking, grunting, grimacing or shrugging. It affects muscles of the head, eyes, neck, and upper limbs.
Movement disorders are the disorders of the muscles caused due to improper supply of nerve impulses to them. They cause involuntary or voluntary dysfunction of the muscles without any sign of paralysis. The different types of these disorders are ataxia, tremors, dysphonia, dystonia and others discussed above.