Reverse sensory geste in cervical dystonia

Mov Disord. 2009 Jan 30;24(2):297-300. doi: 10.1002/mds.22406.


Sensory gestes (SG) are a pathognomonic sign of dystonia, which can be detected in up to two thirds of patients with cervical dystonia (CD). They reduce dystonia severity markedly but transiently. We report a patient whose CD substantially worsened with sensory input to the back of the head and neck in different body postures, a phenomomen recently termed "reverse" sensory geste (rSG) in craniocervical dystonia. In a cohort of CD outpatients, screening for "reverse" effects of SG on dystonia yielded a prevalence of 12.8% (n = 6/47). The most frequent rSG pattern was increased dystonic activity in a supine, resting position while trying to fall asleep. The response to rSG persisted throughout the course of the disease arguing for an impairment of central integration of neck proprioception. Assessment of rSG should be included in the routine examination of CD patients, since BTX treatment may have to beadjusted accordingly to be efficacious.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / adverse effects
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Head
  • Head Movements
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Physical Stimulation / adverse effects*
  • Posture
  • Torticollis / drug therapy
  • Torticollis / etiology
  • Torticollis / physiopathology*
  • Touch*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A