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Paroxysmal Dystonia

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(4):381-382. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130280071027.
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Recurring episodes of dystonia are an unusual problem in pediatric practice. Paroxysmal dystonia may be seen as a familial syndrome or as part of an acquired disorder. I report the following case because of the unusual nature of the disorder and certain features in this particular case.

Report of a Case.—This child was a full-term, 3,620-g, healthy infant who had had no major illness until 26 months of age. Following a four-day febrile upper respiratory tract illness, he was found to be lethargic, weak, and unable to walk. He could not eat solid food and had difficulty swallowing liquids.

On initial examination, he was an irritable, lethargic child with fixed staring, minimal blinking, and constant drooling. He had a dystonic posture with flexion of the right arm and head turning to the right. The CSF was normal (protein level, 8 mg/dL; glucose level, 61 mg/dL; and lymphocyte count,


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