Dysdiadochokinesia: Definition, Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Impairment of the ability to perform rapidly alternating movements. Dysdiadochokinesis is the clinical term for an inability to perform rapidly alternating movements. The condition is a key sign of many cerebral disorders, including multiple sclerosis and neocerebellar syndrome, and is caused by lesions in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that governs motor control. A person with dysdiadochokinesia will not be able to perform rapid alternate movements like winding a watch or moving the tongue quickly from one side of the mouth to the other.Dysdiadochokinesia medigoo It is thought to be caused by the inability to switch on and switch off antagonising muscle groups in a coordinated fashion due to hypotonia, secondary to the central lesion. Dysdiadochokinesia is also seen in Friedreich's ataxia and multiple sclerosis (MS), as a cerebellar symptom (including ataxia, intention tremor and dysarthria). It is also a feature of ataxic dysarthria. Performing alternating movements steadily and quickly requires significant cerebellum coordination. As a result, patients with lesions or other cerebellar disorders can develop dysdiadochokinesia because this coordination is disturbed. The affected muscles can weaken and tire more easily and the patient can seem uncoordinated and clumsy, a condition known as ataxia. Abnormalities in dysdiadochokinesia can be seen in the upper extremity, lower extremity and in speech. The deficits become visible in the rate of alternation, the completeness of the sequence, and in the variation in amplitude involving both motor coordination and sequencing. Average rate can be used as a measure of performance when testing for dysdiadochokinesia. It is demonstrated clinically by asking the patient to tap the palm of one hand with the fingers of the other, then rapidly turn over the fingers and tap the palm with the back of them, repeatedly. This movement is known as a pronation/supination test of the upper extremity. A simpler method using this same concept is to ask the patient to demonstrate the movement of trying a doorknob or screwing in a light bulb. When testing for this condition in legs ask the patient to tap your hand as quickly as possible with the ball of each foot in turn. Movements tend to be slow or awkward. The feet normally perform less well than the hands. Symptoms: General symptoms include: Poor coordination of the hands, arms, and/or legs.
  • Alterations in walking and equilibrium, slowness, rigidity, and awkwardness in movements.
  • Dull or incomprehensible speech (dysarthria).
  • Difficulty stopping one movement and following it immediately with a movement in the opposite direction.
  • As the illness progresses, patients may exhibit additional symptoms related to other parts of the brain or the nervous system, such as an inability to move the eyes, weakness, tremor, spasticity, insanity, or loss of sensitivity in the feet and/or the hands.
Diagnosis: A doctor will test for dysdiadochokinesia by asking the patient to perform several simple tasks that require fast, alternating movements. The patient's ability to perform will depend on the muscles affected by any lesions in the cerebellum. Common tests include having the patient turn his or her hand over several times in rapid succession against a hard, flat surface. The patient may also be asked to touch his or her nose and then quickly touch the doctor's finger. Turning a doorknob is another typical dysdiadochokinesia diagnostic test. Once dysdiadochokinesia is suspected, the doctor may perform other tests to determine the underlying medical condition. Dysdiadochokinesia is often a sign of a cerebral disorder, basal ganglia, or a disease of the frontal lobes. Treating the underlying condition, if possible, can improve dysdiadochokinesia. A lesion is usually diagnosed through imaging studies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Dysdiadochokinesia Treatment:

If you suffer from a form of dysdiadochokinesia caused by another condition, your physician will begin by treating that underlying condition first. For example, dysdiadochokinesia caused by a metabolic disorder may be treated with medications and a controlled diet. Dysdiadochokinesia associated with a vitamin deficiency may be treated with vitamin therapy. There are also a number drugs and therapies available to help treat gait and swallowing disorders. The physical therapist assigned to your patient care team may suggest exercises to help strengthen muscles. An occupational therapist may also fit you for special equipment to assist in walking and performing other activities of daily life. NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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