Psychogenic-Movement-Information-Page

Psychogenic Movement Information Page


What research is being done?

Scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are studying how the mind and the brain work to cause movement symptoms in people who have no known underlying neurological or medical disorder.  Researchers are investigating risk factors and neurobiological markers of psychogenic movement disorders (also called functional or stress-related movement disorders).  A number of biological and psychosocial factors may act together to bring on uncontrollable movements such as twitching, jerking, twisting or weakness of certain body parts.  The study examines several genetic markers which are involved in stress and emotional disorders.  It also assesses cortisol levels and heart rate variability as a measure of stress and autonomic nervous system functioning, and detailed psychological measures. Highly advanced brain imaging will detect changes in structures of the brain and the strength of fiber connections between certain brain areas.  Findings in individuals with psychogenic movement disorders will be compared to those of healthy volunteers.

Functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) can detect altered blood flow that may reflect changes in activity between brain cells and is being investigated in indiiduals with psychogenic movements.

Other researchers are exploring the role of biofeedback in lessening or stopping movement symptoms, and how different types of psychotherapy may help individuals who have somatoform disorders.

Another study is evaluating the effects in functional status in individuals with psychogenic gait disorder after three weeks of cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation.  Follow-up studies after 1 and 12 months will evaluate if any improvement is still present.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Movement Disorders

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What research is being done?

Scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are studying how the mind and the brain work to cause movement symptoms in people who have no known underlying neurological or medical disorder.  Researchers are investigating risk factors and neurobiological markers of psychogenic movement disorders (also called functional or stress-related movement disorders).  A number of biological and psychosocial factors may act together to bring on uncontrollable movements such as twitching, jerking, twisting or weakness of certain body parts.  The study examines several genetic markers which are involved in stress and emotional disorders.  It also assesses cortisol levels and heart rate variability as a measure of stress and autonomic nervous system functioning, and detailed psychological measures. Highly advanced brain imaging will detect changes in structures of the brain and the strength of fiber connections between certain brain areas.  Findings in individuals with psychogenic movement disorders will be compared to those of healthy volunteers.

Functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) can detect altered blood flow that may reflect changes in activity between brain cells and is being investigated in indiiduals with psychogenic movements.

Other researchers are exploring the role of biofeedback in lessening or stopping movement symptoms, and how different types of psychotherapy may help individuals who have somatoform disorders.

Another study is evaluating the effects in functional status in individuals with psychogenic gait disorder after three weeks of cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation.  Follow-up studies after 1 and 12 months will evaluate if any improvement is still present.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Movement Disorders

Scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are studying how the mind and the brain work to cause movement symptoms in people who have no known underlying neurological or medical disorder.  Researchers are investigating risk factors and neurobiological markers of psychogenic movement disorders (also called functional or stress-related movement disorders).  A number of biological and psychosocial factors may act together to bring on uncontrollable movements such as twitching, jerking, twisting or weakness of certain body parts.  The study examines several genetic markers which are involved in stress and emotional disorders.  It also assesses cortisol levels and heart rate variability as a measure of stress and autonomic nervous system functioning, and detailed psychological measures. Highly advanced brain imaging will detect changes in structures of the brain and the strength of fiber connections between certain brain areas.  Findings in individuals with psychogenic movement disorders will be compared to those of healthy volunteers.

Functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) can detect altered blood flow that may reflect changes in activity between brain cells and is being investigated in indiiduals with psychogenic movements.

Other researchers are exploring the role of biofeedback in lessening or stopping movement symptoms, and how different types of psychotherapy may help individuals who have somatoform disorders.

Another study is evaluating the effects in functional status in individuals with psychogenic gait disorder after three weeks of cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation.  Follow-up studies after 1 and 12 months will evaluate if any improvement is still present.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Movement Disorders


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