Functional movement disorders: Five new things

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Abstract

Purpose of review:

Functional movement disorders (FMD) are commonly seen in neurologic practice, but are associated with poor outcomes. Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in this area, with new developments in pathophysiologic understanding and therapeutic management.

Recent findings:

Individuals with FMD are a psychologically heterogeneous group, with many individuals having no detectable psychopathology on symptom screening measures, and possibly significant etiologically relevant life events only revealed through in-depth interviews. A randomized trial of specialist intensive physical rehabilitation compared to community-based neurophysiotherapy in FMD has demonstrated moderate to large effect sizes for both physical and social functioning outcomes. Experimental evidence suggests an impairment in the neural systems conferring a sense of agency over movement in individuals with FMD, and may explain why movements that appear voluntary are not experienced as such.

Summary:

The prognosis of individuals with FMD may be improved with greater access to appropriately organized care and treatment.

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