Disorders of the Extrapyramidal System

  • Larry E. DavisEmail author
  • Sarah Pirio Richardson


The chapter begins with an overview of human motor system control of both voluntary and involuntary movements. Movement disorders or extrapyramidal disorders are characterized by abnormal movements in conscious patients. Damage to or presumed dysfunction of the basal ganglia and their brainstem and cerebellar connections is implicated in the etiology of these diseases. Movement disorders are characterized by either excessive (hyperkinetic) or reduced (hypokinetic) activity. Hyperkinetic movements are characterized by tremor, chorea, dystonia, athetosis, ballismus, myoclonus, and tics. The reader can view videos of many hyperkinetic movement disorders. The chapter then covers in detail essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease with attention to their pathophysiology, major clinical features, major laboratory findings, and principles of management and prognosis.


Extrapyramidal disorder Tremor Chorea Dystonia Athetosis Ballismus Myoclonus Tics Essential tremor Parkinson’s disease Huntington’s disease 

Supplementary material

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Recommended Reading

  1. Lang AE, Lozano AM. Parkinson’s disease (parts 1 and 2). N Engl J Med. 1998;339:1044–53, 1130–43. (Thorough review of clinical, pathological, and treatment) Google Scholar
  2. Roos RA. Huntington’s disease: a clinical review. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2010;5(10):40. doi:10.1186/1750-1172-5-40. (A succinct review of Huntington’s disease from symptoms to genetic counseling) Google Scholar
  3. Zeuner KE, Deuschl G. An update on tremors. Curr Opin Neurol. 2012;25(4):475–82. (Good review of Essential tremor as well as less common tremors)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chief Neurology ServiceDistinguished Professor of Neurology New Mexico VA Health Care SystemAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurology Health Sciences CenterUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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