Movement disorders after resuscitation from cardiac arrest

Arun Venkatesan, Steven Frucht

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


It is difficult to predict precisely the final neurologic outcome from cardiac arrest and accompanying cerebral hypoxia. Although rare, several movement disorders may arise as a consequence of hypoxic injury, including myoclonus, dystonia, akinetic-rigid syndromes, tremor, and chorea. Dysfunction of various portions of the central nervous system, including the basal ganglia, thalamus, midbrain, and cerebellum, is implicated in the pathogenesis of these posthypoxic movement disorders. The development of animal models of posthypoxic movement disorders and of newer imaging techniques applied to human patients who have movement disorders after hypoxic episodes has improved understanding of the pathophysiology of posthypoxic movement disorders and has suggested newer treatments. Many outstanding questions remain, however. What factors promote susceptibility to the development of posthypoxic movement disorders? Why do patients who have similar clinical hypoxic insults develop markedly dissimilar movement disorders? Why are the basal ganglia especially vulnerable to cerebral hypoxia? Why do some movement disorders occur in delayed fashion and progress for years after the hypoxic insult? Is the pathogenesis of progressive posthypoxic movement disorders related to that of neurodegenerative diseases? What are the most effective medications for the various posthypoxic movement disorders? Is there a role for deep brain stimulation in the treatment of posthypoxic movement disorders? We anticipate that current and future research in the area of posthypoxic movement disorders will reveal answers to some of these important questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalNeurologic Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


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