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DYSTONIA IN CHILDREN


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Abstract

Dystonia is a motor disorder characterized by sustained muscle contractions producing twisting, repetitive, and patterned movements or abnormal postures. Dystonia is among the most commonly observed motor disorders in clinical practice in children. Unlike dystonia in adults that typically remains focal or spreads only to nearby muscle groups, childhood dystonia often generalizes. Classification of dystonia has direct implications for narrowing down the differential diagnosis, choosing the diagnostic work-up, predicting the prognosis, and choosing treatment options. The etiology of pediatric dystonia is quite heterogeneous. The etiological classification distinguishes primary dystonia with no identifiable exogenous cause or evidence of neurodegeneration and secondary syndromes. Dystonia can be secondary to any pathological process that affects the basal ganglia. The treatment options of childhood dystonia include several oral pharmaceutical agents, botulinum toxin injections, and deep brain stimulation therapy. Botulinum toxin treatment is the first choice treatment for most types of focal dystonia. In children it is less used because dystonic forms are mainly generalized, but it might also be helpful in controlling the most disabling symptoms of segmental or generalized dystonia. Long-term electrical stimulation of the globus pallidum internum is now established as an effective treatment for various types of movement disorders including dystonia. However, this method has not yet found its application in Russia due to the difficulty of implementation and the lack of patient routing. To increase the effectiveness of complex therapy of dystonia in children, new pathogenetic methods of treatment of common forms of primary dystonia and dystonic syndromes in the structure of degenerative diseases of the central nervous system are needed, as well as the development of optimal algorithms for the diagnosis and treatment of these patients.


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