Dystonia following acquired brain injury (ABI) in childhood – Not as common as we might think?

Published:November 08, 2022DOI:
      Recovery following an acquired injury to the developing brain may be complicated by a range of motor deficits. Dystonia is one problem which may arise, potentially causing pain and distress, complicating the delivery of critical care in the hyperacute phase, and slowing recovery in the longer term. Clinicians working with children and young people in this setting are likely to have encountered many memorable cases where dystonia has necessitated high doses of multiple pharmacological interventions. It is perhaps surprising to note the paucity of studies examining the emergence of dystonia following acquired brain injury, given how common this disorder may seem. The study by Pentony and colleagues [
      • Pentony M.
      • Featherstone M.
      • Sheikh Y.
      • et al.
      Dystonia in children with acquired brain injury.
      ] published in this issue of the journal is a welcome addition to the literature. This report is notable both as the first study to have specifically explored the incidence and trajectory of dystonia following acquired brain injury in children and young people admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and also given the surprisingly low incidence identified.
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