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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 9 (1996), Issue 2, Pages 81-88

Spasmodic Torticollis—A Multicentre Study on Behavioural Aspects II: Signs, Symptoms and Course

F. Heinen,1,7 C. E. Scheidt,2 T. Nickel,2 O. Rayki,2 J. Wissel,3 W. Poewe,3 R. Benecke,4 G. Arnold,5 W. Oertel,5 R. Dengler,6 and G. Deuschl1

1Neurologische Klinik, Universität Freiburg, Germany
2Abteilung für Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Universität Freiburg, Germany
3Neurologische Klinik, Rudolf-Virchow-Krankenhaus, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Germany
4Neurologische Klinik, Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
5Neurologische Klinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
6Neurologische Klinik, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany
7Neuropadiatrie und Muskelerkrankungen, Universitatskinderklinik, Mathildenstr. 1, 79106 Freiburg, Germany

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper deals with signs, symptoms and course in spasmodic torticollis (ST). Two hundred and fifty-six patients were included in the study, 59.3% women, 40.7% men. The mean age was 49.1 years. Rotating torticollis out-numbered latero- and antero-retrocollis. A family history of ST occurred in 3.1% of the total sample. First degree relatives were affected in 2.3%. Thirty-four per cent of the patients had additional dystonic symptoms. Most frequently these affected the upper extremities (13%), and less often the legs. Of the patients 19.1% had experienced a period of complete remission. The correlations between the severity of the signs and the neurological symptoms are surprisingly weak.