Cranial functional (psychogenic) movement disorders

Diego Kaski, Adolfo M Bronstein, Mark J Edwards, Jon Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Functional (psychogenic) neurological symptoms are frequently encountered in neurological practice. Cranial movement disorders-affecting the eyes, face, jaw, tongue, or palate-are an under-recognised feature of patients with functional symptoms. They can present in isolation or in the context of other functional symptoms; in particular, for functional eye movements, positive clinical signs such as convergence spasms can be triggered by the clinical examination. Although the specialty of functional neurological disorders has expanded, appreciation of cranial functional movement disorders is still insufficient. Identification of the positive features of cranial functional movement disorders such as convergence and unilateral platysmal spasm might lend diagnostic weight to a suspected functional neurological disorder. Understanding of the differential diagnosis, which is broad and includes many organic causes (eg, stroke), is essential to make an early and accurate diagnosis to prevent complications and initiate appropriate management. Increased understanding of these disorders is also crucial to drive clinical trials and studies of individually tailored therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-205
Number of pages10
JournalLancet Neurology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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