Is focal hand dystonia associated with psychopathology?

Jordan Grafman*, Leonardo G. Cohen, Mark Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if patients with focal hand dystonia have any significant psychopathology. We studied 20 patients with hand cramps who were participating in a therapeutic trial of botulinum toxin injectins. Patients were interviewed and administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Beck Depression Inventory, Spielberger State‐Trait Anxiety Scale, a finger tapping test, and a choice serial reaction time test. Behavioral ratings were also obtained. Group statistics indicated that all personality scale scores and performances on motor tasks were within normal limits. Four out of 20 patients demonstrated mild depression. Trait anxiety scores were higher than state anxiety scores, suggesting that receiving medical treatment had a beneficial effect on mood. The number of depressive symptoms endorsed on the MMPI was correlated with reaction time speed but not finger dexterity. None of the 20 patients reported a remarkable psychiatric history. These results indicate that hand cramps are not associated with serious psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991


  • Focal dystonia
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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