Historical aspects of studying craniocervical dystonia

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Abstract

The study of dystonic hyperkinesias has a thousand-year-old history. Beginning with drawings and sculptures from antiquity and up to the present day, modern ideas gradually developed about the phenomenology, origin, and treatment methods of dystonia. Mentions of spastic torticollis, blepharospasm and Meige syndrome can even be found in the writings of Hippocrates and Celsus. Images and monuments from antiquity and ancient civilizations indicate the existence of focal dystonias in those times.

The Middle Ages left science with records of cervical dystonia and numerous illustrations in religious images. The first well-known mention of the term ‘torticollis’ belongs to François Rabelais. The term started to appear in medical texts later on. One of the earliest medical records on cervical dystonia was made by the Swiss physician Felix Platerus. During the Age of Enlightenment, dystonias became a separate class in disease classification.

Modern tendencies in studying dystonia are characterized by identifying the genes responsible for different forms of primary dystonia along with description of their phenotypes. There is an ongoing research on the role of mental disorders in the clinical presentation of dystonia.

About the authors

Zifa G. Khayatova

Kazan State Medical University, Kazan

Author for correspondence.
Email: platonova@neurology.ru
Russian Federation

Zuleykha A. Zalyalova

Kazan State Medical University, Kazan

Email: platonova@neurology.ru
Russian Federation

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Copyright (c) 2019 Khayatova Z.G., Zalyalova Z.A.

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