Neurological Sciences

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 335–338 | Cite as

Continuous involuntary hand movements and schizencephaly: epilepsia partialis continua or dystonia?

  • Lucio Marinelli
  • Laura Bonzano
  • Laura Saitta
  • Carlo Trompetto
  • Giovanni Abbruzzese
Case Report


Schizencephaly is regarded as a malformation of cortical development (due to abnormal neuronal organization) and may be associated with continuous involuntary hand movements. The mechanisms underlying these movements are not clear and both dystonia and epilepsia partialis continua have been considered in previously reported cases. We describe a young patient affected by schizencephaly and continuous involuntary movements of the contralateral hand. Functional MRI showed bilateral cerebral activation, while the subject performed tapping movements with the affected hand and no significant difference in the activation pattern after diazepam infusion. Standard and back-averaged EEG showed no alterations. The results obtained from these investigations and the clinical features of the involuntary movements are not in favor of an epileptic genesis, while support the diagnosis of secondary dystonia.


Dystonia Epilepsia partialis continua Functional MRI Involuntary movements Schizencephaly 

Supplementary material

10072_2011_674_MOESM1_ESM.doc (18 kb)
Supplementary Table (doc 19 kb) allows an easy comparison between our and the two previously reported cases.

The video shows the pattern of the involuntary repetitive movements of the left hand. Finger movements are also clumsy. (MPG 9221 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucio Marinelli
    • 1
  • Laura Bonzano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laura Saitta
    • 3
  • Carlo Trompetto
    • 1
  • Giovanni Abbruzzese
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurosciences Ophthalmology and Genetics, Institute of NeurologyUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Magnetic Resonance Research Centre on Nervous System DiseasesUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Department of NeuroradiologySan Martino HospitalGenoaItaly

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