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Author Notes:

Correspondence to: Dr Joseph Jankovic, Parkinson’s Disease Center, and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, The Smith Tower, Suite 1801, 6550 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030, USA; josephj@bcm.edu.

NP was involved in the organisation and conceptualisation of the study, gathered the data and wrote the first draft of the manuscript.

JH performed the statistical analysis and review of the manuscript.

LM was involved in gathering the data, conceptualisation of the study, and review of the manuscript.

JJ was involved in the conceptualisation and organisation of the study and review of the manuscript.

Competing interests: None.


Research Funding:

Subject recruitment and assessment was made possible through the Dystonia Coalition from the Office of Rare Diseases Research at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH grant NS 065701) and the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.


  • Neurology

Alleviating manoeuvres (sensory tricks) in cervical dystonia


Journal Title:

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry


Volume 85, Number 8


, Pages 882-884

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background: There is limited information on the phenomenology, clinical characteristics and pathophysiology of alleviating manoeuvres (AM), also called ‘sensory tricks’ in cervical dystonia (CD). Methods: Individual data, collected from 10 sites participating in the Dystonia Coalition (http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01373424), included description of localisation and phenomenology of AM collected by systematic review of standardised video examinations. Analyses correlated demographic, neurologic, and psychiatric features of CD patients with or without effective AM. Results: Of 154 people studied, 138 (89.6%) used AM, of which 60 (43.4%) reported partial improvement, 55 (39.8%) marked improvement, and 4 (0.03%) no effect on dystonic posture. Light touch, usually to the lower face or neck, was used by >90%. The presence or location of AM did not correlate with the severity of the dystonia. Conclusions: In this large and comprehensive study of CD, we found no clinical predictors of effective AM. Further studies of sensorimotor integration in dystonia are needed to better understand the pathophysiology of AM.

Copyright information:

© 2014, British Medical Journal Publishing Group.

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