Dystonia in childhood: Clinical and objective measures and functional implications

Larissa Pavone, Justin Burton, Deborah Gaebler-Spira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Dystonia is a complex movement disorder that is challenging to identify and quantify. The aim of this article is to review the clinical scales, kinematic measures, and functional implications of dystonia. Clinical measures include the Barry-Albright Dystonia Scale, the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Movement Scale, the Unified Dystonia Rating Scale, the Global Dystonia Rating Scale, and the Movement Disorder-Childhood Rating Scale. The evidence, reliability, and validity of each scale will be outlined. The Hypertonia Assessment Tool will be discussed emphasizing the importance of discriminating hypertonia. The role of kinematic measures in analyzing dystonia will be explored, as well as the potential for its future clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-350
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • dystonia
  • hypertonia
  • kinematics
  • rating scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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