Do cerebrovascular risk factors impact the clinical expression of idiopathic isolated adult-onset dystonia?

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2023 Oct:115:105851. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2023.105851. Epub 2023 Sep 12.


Background: Although acquired dystonia may develop following ischaemic/haemorrhagic stroke, the relationship between cerebrovascular disease and idiopathic dystonia has been poorly investigated. This cross sectional study aimed at evaluating the impact of cerebrovascular risk factors on the clinical expression of idiopathic adult onset dystonia (IAOD), with reference to dystonia localization and dystonia-associated features.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Italian Dystonia Registry. Patients with IAOD were stratified into two groups according to the presence of diabetes mellitus and/or arterial hypertension and/or dyslipidemia and/or heart disease. The two groups were compared for demographic features, dystonia phenotype, and dystonia-associated features (sensory trick, tremor, eye symptoms in blepharospasm, and neck pain in cervical dystonia).

Results: A total of 1108 patients participated into the study. Patients who reported one cerebrovascular factor or more (n = 555) had higher age and longer disease duration than patients who did not. On multivariable logistic regression analysis, blepharospasm was the only localization, and sensory trick was the only dystonia-associated feature that was significantly associated with cerebrovascular risk factors. Linear regression analysis showed that the strength of the association between cerebrovascular factors and blepharospasm/sensory trick increased with increasing the number of cerebrovascular factors per patient.

Conclusions: Results of the present study showed that cerebrovascular risk factors may be associated with specific features of IAOD that is development of blepharospasm and sensory trick. Further studies are needed to better understand the meaning and the mechanisms underlying this association.

Keywords: Blepharospasm; Dystonia; Epidemiology; Sensory trick; Vascular risk factors.