Dystonia, chorea, hemiballismus and other dyskinesias

Clin Neurophysiol. 2022 Aug:140:110-125. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2022.05.014. Epub 2022 Jun 8.


Hyperkinesias are heterogeneous involuntary movements that significantly differ in terms of clinical and semeiological manifestations, including rhythm, regularity, speed, duration, and other factors that determine their appearance or suppression. Hyperkinesias are due to complex, variable, and largely undefined pathophysiological mechanisms that may involve different brain areas. In this chapter, we specifically focus on dystonia, chorea and hemiballismus, and other dyskinesias, specifically, levodopa-induced, tardive, and cranial dyskinesia. We address the role of neurophysiological studies aimed at explaining the pathophysiology of these conditions. We mainly refer to human studies using surface and invasive in-depth recordings, as well as spinal, brainstem, and transcortical reflexology and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques. We discuss the extent to which the neurophysiological abnormalities observed in hyperkinesias may be explained by pathophysiological models. We highlight the most relevant issues that deserve future research efforts. The potential role of neurophysiological assessment in the clinical context of hyperkinesia is also discussed.

Keywords: Athetosis; Ballismus; Chorea; Dyskinesias; Dystonia; Hyperkinesia; Pathophysiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chorea* / diagnosis
  • Dyskinesias*
  • Dystonia* / diagnosis
  • Dystonia* / therapy
  • Dystonic Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Levodopa


  • Levodopa