Masturbation mimicking paroxysmal dystonia or dyskinesia in a young girl

Mov Disord. 1995 Jul;10(4):518-20. doi: 10.1002/mds.870100421.


We present the case of a young girl with periodic posturing during masturbation. The child had been evaluated by several physicians and underwent numerous diagnostic tests before the spells were seen by a physician and determined to be self-stimulatory and not paroxysmal dystonia. Masturbation is a normal and common behavior in young children and should be recognized as such. Failure to recognize this behavior can lead to unnecessary and invasive testing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dystonia / diagnosis*
  • Dystonia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Masturbation / physiopathology*
  • Movement Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Movement Disorders / physiopathology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Posture / physiology