Athetosis

Athetosis is that condition which is defined as an uncontrolled rhythmic writhing movement especially of fingers, hands, tongue and head. These movements are not patterned and sustained in nature. Treatment for this is not very effective and in most of the cases doctors aim to manage the uncontrolled movements of the parts.

Causes

Abrasion to the brain is the most often causes of athetosis. It is also caused by malfunctioning or degeneration of the basal ganglia of the cerebrum. This malfunctioning or degeneration is mostly caused by the complications at the time of birth or even by Huntington’s disease. Athetosis is generally found in the children suffering from cerebral palsy.  It can occur due to side effects of anti-psychotic drugs and due to pregnancy rheumatic fever.

Symptoms

Slow movement of the body parts, involuntary movements of hands, feet, face, tongue, neck and muscles, incapability of standing and walking straight, stress, producing a lot of saliva and facial spasms are the most common signs and symptoms of this disease. Early childhood symptoms are: difficulties in feeding, bad muscle control, delayed development and lack of co-ordination.

Tests and Procedures

There are no proper tests and diagnosis defined for Athetosis. It can only be diagnosed by a doctor on the basis of its symptoms, where doctors can help a patient in managing its affected body parts. Training a person to relearn movements can be helpful in some cases.

Treatment

Athetosis does not have any effective treatment process. Levodopa is the most successful drug that is used to reduce this disease. Though curing Athetosis is not possible, but certain approaches can help in betterment of the conditions and in reducing the severity of the symptoms. Surgery is also an option of treatment but there is a risk of paralysis of the limb involved in it.

 Prognosis

Its prognosis and outcome are quite poor. The primary goal of the treatment procedure should be to tackle the involuntary and uncontrolled movements instead of treating the root cause of the disease.

Treatment cost

As there is no particular cure or treatment for Athetosis,  it is hard to mention the treatment cost. It depends upon the doctors’ fees which vary from doctor to doctor. Again if any patient undergoes surgery in severe cases, then the cost may vary hospital to hospital.