The phenomenology of the geste antagoniste in primary blepharospasm and cervical dystonia

Mov Disord. 2010 Mar 15;25(4):407-12. doi: 10.1002/mds.23011.


The geste antagoniste (GA), a relatively common feature of adult-onset primary dystonia, has been systematically evaluated only in cervical dystonia, but it is still unclear whether its frequency and phenomenology differ among the various forms of focal dystonia. We analysed the frequency, phenomenology, effectiveness, and relationship of the GA with demographic/clinical features of dystonia in a representative clinical series of patients with the two most common forms of adult-onset primary dystonia, blepharospasm (BSP) and cervical dystonia (CD). Clinical data were gathered using a standardized questionnaire, which showed substantial test-retest reliability (kappa = 0.79, P < 0.00001). The frequency of GA was similar among patients with BSP (42/59, 71.2%) and patients with CD (27/32, 84.4%), and in both groups GA showed similar effectiveness in reducing dystonia. The repertoire of GA was heterogenous in both BSP and CD patients, in whom seven BSP-related and five CD-related types of GA were recorded, and a "forcible" type of GA was present in 69% of BSP patients and in 48.1% of CD patients. In our whole patient population, age at dystonia onset was significantly lower among patients reporting a GA compared to those without GA (P = 0.01). GA features shared by BSP and CD predominate over differences, suggesting common mechanisms underlying this phenomenon in the two forms of primary adult-onset dystonia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blepharospasm / complications*
  • Disease Progression
  • Dystonic Disorders / complications*
  • Dystonic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Dystonic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Posture
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires