Paroxysmal kinesigenic dystonic choreoathetosis associated with a thalamic infarct

Mov Disord. 1990;5(3):235-8. doi: 10.1002/mds.870050309.


We describe a patient with the development of paroxysmal kinesigenic dystonic choreoathetosis (PKDC) after a thalamic infarct. PKDC consists of brief episodes of dystonia or choreoathetosis triggered by movement. PKDC improves with anticonvulsants, and in some cases, with L-Dopa or anticholinergics. We review PKDC, and relate its salient features to idiopathic and secondary torsion dystonia. We postulate a similar underlying pathophysiology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Athetosis / drug therapy
  • Athetosis / etiology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications*
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis
  • Chorea / drug therapy
  • Chorea / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenytoin / therapeutic use
  • Thalamus / pathology
  • Thalamus / physiopathology*


  • Phenytoin