The hand that has forgotten its cunning—lessons from musicians' hand dystonia

Anna M Conti, Seth Pullman, Steven J Frucht
Movement Disorders: Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society 2008 July 30, 23 (10): 1398-406
Focal task-specific dystonia of the musicians' hand (FTSDmh) is an occupational movement disorder that affects instrumental musicians and often derails careers. There has been speculation on the role of intense practice or the specific technical demands of various instruments as triggers for the development of FTSDmh. In this study, we review the clinical features of all published cases (899 patients) and 61 previously unpublished cases of FTSDmh. Our primary goals were to search for patterns in the clinical phenotype, and to discern if specific instrumental technical demands might be related to the development of dystonia. Symptoms of FTSDmh began at a mean age 35.7 years (SD = 10.6), with an overwhelming male predominance (M:F = 4.1:1). The right hand was preferentially affected in keyboard and plucked string players (77%), and the left hand in bowed string players (68%). Flexion movements were the most common dystonic movement in each instrument class, and fingers 3, 4, and 5, either in isolation or combination, were most frequently involved. The clinical implications of these findings and their possible relationship to the pathophysiology of focal task-specific dystonia are explored.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.