Motor stereotypy disorders

Deivasumathy Muthugovindan, Harvey Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: This review highlights recent advances in understanding the clinical features, prevalence, and outcomes of motor stereotypy disorders in typically developing children. Recent findings Longitudinal data indicate that stereotypies in children with normal intelligence show an early age of onset, chronicity, and high prevalence of comorbid difficulties, including tics, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The underlying abnormality remains unknown, but there is increasing evidence for Mendelian inheritance and a neurobiological mechanism. Summary Primary motor stereotypies are relatively common in childhood and can be subdivided into three groups (common, head nodding, and complex motor). Movements are similar to those seen in children with autistic spectrum disorders, mental retardation, and sensory deprivation. The role of pharmacotherapy is not established and behavioral therapy can be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Motor stereotypy disorder
  • Primary stereotypies
  • Secondary motor stereotypies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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