Motor Stereotypies in Childhood – Case Reports

Authors: I. Příhodová;  L. Koumarová;  S. Nevšímalová;  E. Růžička
Authors‘ workplace: Neurologická klinika a Centrum klinických neurověd, 1. LF UK a VFN v Praze
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2012; 75/108(5): 621-625
Category: Case Report


Motor stereotypies are involuntary purposeless coordinated movements manifesting in a certain fixed pattern. Stereotypic movements classified as secondary, pathological stereotypies are common in children with neurodevelopmental disorders (autism, mental retardation, Rett syndrome) and sensory impairment. Motor stereotypies can also appear in many typically developing children (primary, physiological stereotypies). Primary stereotypies usually begin before three years of age. According to the type of movement they are categorized into three subgroups – common stereotypies, head nodding and complex stereotypies. Differential diagnosis involves tics, epileptic automatisms, paroxysmal dyskinesias and in the case of head nodding also structural brain lesions, Sandifer syndrome or spasmus nutans. Motor stereotypies are benign movements but they can persist into adulthood. Comorbidities with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, tics and other psychiatric disorders (anxiety, obsessive – compulsive disorder) have been described. We present case reports with various types of primary stereotypies (including videorecordings) and an overview of differential diagnostics and literature.

Key words:
primary motor stereotypies – common stereotypies – head

nodding – complex stereotypies – secondary motor stereo­typies – complex



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Paediatric neurology Neurosurgery Neurology

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