Is focal task-specific dystonia limited to the hand and face?

Mov Disord. 2007 May 15;22(7):1009-11. doi: 10.1002/mds.21141.


Focal task-specific dystonia (FTSD) of the hand and face have been well described; however, FTSD of the leg is exceedingly rare. We describe and demonstrate by videotape 2 patients with FTSD affecting the leg, in both cases triggered specifically by walking down steps. Walking on a level surface, up steps, and down steps backward, and sideways were normal. An interoceptive sensory trick (imagining walking in a different modality) led to temporary improvement. Our patients appear to demonstrated that task-specificity in focal dystonia may not be limited to skilled, rehearsed actions and that FTSD may occur in an activity that is relatively autonomic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dystonic Disorders / pathology
  • Dystonic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Walking / physiology