Paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia (PNKD) is a rare disorder characterized by episodic hyperkinetic movement attacks. We have recently identified mutations in the MR-1 gene causing familial PNKD.
We reviewed the clinical features of 14 kindreds with familial dyskinesia that was not clearly induced by movement or during sleep. Of these 14 kindreds, 8 had MR-1 mutations and 6 did not.
Patients with PNKD with MR-1 mutations had their attack onset in youth (infancy and early childhood). Typical attacks consisted of a mixture of chorea and dystonia in the limbs, face, and trunk, and typical attack duration lasted from 10 minutes to 1 hour. Caffeine, alcohol, and emotional stress were prominent precipitants. Attacks had a favorable response to benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam and diazepam. Attacks in families without MR-1 mutations were more variable in their age at onset, precipitants, clinical features, and response to medications. Several were induced by persistent exercise.
Paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia (PNKD) should be strictly defined based on age at onset and ability to precipitate attacks with caffeine and alcohol. Patients with this clinical presentation (which is similar to the phenotype initially reported by Mount and Reback) are likely to harbor myofibrillogenesis regulator 1 (MR-1) gene mutations. Other "PNKD-like" families exist, but atypical features suggests that these subjects are clinically distinct from PNKD and do not have MR-1 mutations. Some may represent paroxysmal exertional dyskinesia.