Dyskinesia: Definition, Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

There are many different types of this condition, with symptoms ranging from minor tics to complete body movements.

Dyskinesia is defined as abnormal, uncontrollable, and involuntary movements.

Dyskinesia may be an independent condition. However, it is usually associated with brain lesions, antipsychotic medications, or the long-term use of levodopa, a drug involved in treating Parkinson’s disease.

Dyskinesia treatment usually involves medications or surgical repair of the underlying cause.

Symptoms gradually worsen over time, although they may develop suddenly or intensify after brain damage or injury. Each type of dyskinesia causes specific symptoms that are usually unique to distinguish the different types.

What are the types?

The cause of dyskinesia is almost always alteration of brain chemistry or brain damage—specifically, injury to the basal ganglia brain region, where voluntary movement and learned habits are controlled.

The preferred course of treatment for each type of dyskinesia depends mainly on the reason for the change that has occurred in the brain.


The common types of dyskinesia include:

  • Dyskinesia induced by Levodopa or Parkinson’s.
  • It is estimated that 50 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease are treated with levodopa.
  • They develop dyskinesia within 4-5 years.

Common symptoms include:

  • Twisting or writhing
  • Head waving.
  • Restless.
  • Swinging.

Approximately half of those with levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) do not find their symptoms problematic enough to treat them.


Tremors in the hands are a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. A rhythmic movement defines the tremors.

The common types of tremors include:

Static or at rest: when tremors occur in a relaxed limb, at rest and fully supported. It is usually associated with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Kinetics or action and intention is when tremors occur during the movement of an upper body, usually the arm or hand. It is generally associated with MS, vascular disease, tumors, and conditions of cerebellar degeneration.

Postural: this type is when tremors occur while a limb does not move and continues once it moves. Postural tremors are caused by physiological factors, such as alcohol abuse, antidepressants, and heavy metal poisoning.

Neurological conditions can also cause them, for example, Wilson’s disease.

Dystonia: Dystonia is defined as sustained muscle contractions, which often involve repetitive and abnormal twisting movements or postures.

Some people with dystonia also experience blepharospasm, continuous involuntary blinking, and writer’s cramping or inability to write due to an abnormal posture in the arm or hand.

Korea:  The chorea is defined by continuous, sudden, and erratic movements that remain for a few seconds. Extremities, head, and face are commonly affected. Symptoms can occur on one side of the body or alternate between both sides randomly.

Chorea is usually a side effect of certain medications. Those known to cause chorea to include:

  • Antiepileptic drugs.
  • Medicines for Parkinson’s.
  • Antipsychotic medications.

A person can also acquire Korea. The causes of acquired chorea include:

  • Rheumatic fever .
  • Lupus.
  • Endocarditis bacteriana.
  • VIH / SIDE.
  • Enfermedad de Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD).
  • Pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Children’s cardiac surgery.
  • Severe deficiency of vitamin B-1 and B-12.
  • Most toxins affect the central nervous system, for example, cerebral palsy.
  • Meningitis.
  • Encephalitis.
  • Lyme’s disease.
  • Late or late dyskinesia.

Medications for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can cause dyskinesia as a side effect.

Antipsychotic medications used to treat mental conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can cause stiff, jerky body movements. These drugs work by blocking dopamine, which interrupts cell communication.

It is believed that the older antipsychotics cause more risk of dyskinesia than the newer ones. They include:

  • Haloperidol.
  • Thioridazine.
  • Chlorpromazine.

The random and uncontrollable symptoms of tardive dyskinesia include:

  • Rapid flashing
  • Waving arms or hands.
  • Macanudo the language.
  • The random movement of the lips, tongue, or jaw.
  • Sometimes training in the extremities, fingers, and toes.
  • Oscillating movements of the hips or torso in severe cases.
  • Difficulty breathing, also in extreme cases.

According to a 2013 study, developing tardive dyskinesia is three times higher for people with psychosis or diabetes than for those without these conditions. People with schizophrenia are specifically more likely to develop the disease.

Additional causes that increase the risk of tardive dyskinesia include:

  • Being a woman
  • Be over 55 years old
  • Being of Asian or African-American heritage.
  • The abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Types of myoclonus

This type of dyskinesia is defined by spasms and sudden muscle spasms, usually repetitive. Myoclonic dyskinesia types cause symptoms that are severe enough to be disabling.

Common types of myoclonic dyskinesia include:

  • Progressive myoclonus encephalopathy.
  • Static myoclonic encephalopathy is usually caused by cutting oxygen in the brain.
  • Myoclonic epilepsies generally affect older women with symptoms limited to one part of the body, often the face.
  • Benign essential myoclonus, where symptoms typically begin in childhood or adolescence and affect most of the body, causing spasms up to 50 times per minute.
Spasmodic torticollis

This type is defined by abnormal twisting of the neck and head, usually by tilting the head in one direction and oppositely turning the chin. It is caused by a shortened sternocleidomastoid muscle and can develop at any age.


Ballistics is defined by the violent, often violent, throwing of the arms or legs. Depending on their severity, the spasms may be powerful enough to cause mild to severe injuries, predominantly shoulder, hip, or knee dislocation.

Balo usually affects multiple extremities and both sides of the body. Hemiballism affects only one side or one limb.

All types of ballism are usually caused by cerebrovascular events that include brain injury, suffocation (suffocation), or stroke.


This type is defined by slow, rotating, curved, or flexion movements in the fingers and toes. The tongue, arms, legs, and neck can also be affected.

Athetosis is usually caused by brain damage, specifically caused by lack or loss of oxygen or blood supply.

Stereotypes and tics

These dyskinesias are defined by stereotyped or repetitive, useless movements or muscle spasms. An individual may have a certain initial level of control over these movements, including the ability to reduce them. Because of this, some medical professionals do not consider stereotypies and tics as a type of dyskinesia.

Depending on the severity, the symptoms of stereotypies and tics range from mildly irritating to disabling. The types include:

  • Simple tic: defined by a sudden and rapid muscle contraction in the same place.
  • Common motor stereotypies: characterized by repetitive, aimless, but often ritualized movements.
  • Multiple tics or complex stereotypes: defined by intense and extensive tics or tics. Mainly when associated with it.
Tourette’s syndrome

Symptoms can include random, inappropriate actions, such as outbursts of bad words.

In some rare cases, stereotypes and complex tics may develop from certain medications.


The specific treatment plan used for an individual depends on the type of dyskinesia and the severity or extent of the symptoms. If reducing or stopping the use of medications that cause dyskinesia does not control the symptoms, there are some other treatments available.

Choosing an appropriate medication can also be a challenge since many medicines that help control muscle spasms cause dyskinesia.

In addition to medications, botulinum toxin or Botox injections can help reduce or limit involuntary movements, especially those that affect the face.

Deep brain stimulation or DBS is a procedure where the electrodes are placed in the brain to correct movement and control posture. DBS is considered more effective in people with idiopathic or genetic dyskinesia cases, the latter being where there is no known cause.

Behavioral treatment studies have suggested that specific movements and stereotypes can be early diagnostic markers of autism in babies.