Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia-like Symptoms in a Patient with Tourette Syndrome

  • Genko Oyama
  • Michael S. Okun
  • Tetsuo Ashizawa
  • Irene A. Malaty


Background: Paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) is characterized by episodic dystonia or choreiform movements provoked by sudden voluntary movement. PKD is not commonly reported in Tourette syndrome (TS). We describe a unique case of TS with PKD-like episodic dyskinesia that responded to carbamazepine.

Case Report: A 36-year-old male with long-standing TS developed paroxysmal “cramping”. Attacks were provoked by quick, sudden arm movements, which induced dystonic cramping, or by reaching overhead, which caused painful contraction of truncal muscles. The spells typically lasted 5–20 seconds and occurred multiple times daily. The patient’s mother suffered from intermittent dystonic toe curling. In view of the similarity of symptoms to PKD, carbamazepine was prescribed at 400 mg daily. The symptoms resolved completely. Inadvertent discontinuation led to relapse, and resumption led to recapture of benefit.

Discussion: This case demonstrates the possibility that PKD-like symptoms may co-occur with TS and may be responsive to carbamazepine.