This is an overview of the sensorimotor impairments in dystonia, a syndrome characterized by sustained or intermittent aberrant movement patterns leading to abnormal movements and/or postures with or without a tremulous component. Dystonia can affect the entire body or specific body regions and results from a plethora of etiologies, including subtle changes in gray and white matter in several brain regions. Research over the last 25 years addressing topics of sensorimotor control has shown functional sensorimotor impairments related to sensorimotor integration, timing, oculomotor and head control, as well as upper and lower limb control. In the context of efforts to update the classification of dystonia, sensorimotor research is highly relevant for a better understanding of the underlying pathology, and potential mechanisms contributing to global and regional dysfunction within the central nervous system. This overview of relevant research regarding sensorimotor control in humans with idiopathic dystonia attempts to frame the dysfunction with respect to what is known regarding motor control in patients and healthy individuals. We also highlight promising avenues for the future study of neuromotor control that may help to further elucidate dystonia etiology, pathology, and functional characteristics.
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