AIM: To compare physiological age-relatedness between dyskinesia (dystonia/choreoathetosis), dystonia and ataxia rating scale scores in healthy children.
METHOD: Three movement disorders specialists quantified dyskinetic-like features in healthy children (n = 52; 4-16 years) using the Dyskinesia Impairment Scale (DIS = DIS-choreoathetosis (DIS-C) + DIS-dystonia (DIS-D)). We compared the age-related regression coefficients of the DIS with data processed from previous studies on dystonia and ataxia rating scales (Burke-Fahn-Marsden Movement and Disability Scales (BFMMS and BFMDS) and Scale for Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA), International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS) and Brief Ataxia Rating Scale (BARS)).
RESULTS: Dyskinetic scores were obtained in 79% (DIS); 65% (DIS-D) and 17% (DIS-C) versus dystonic and ataxic scores in 98% (BFMMS) and 89% (SARA/ICARS/BARS) of the children. Age-related DIS and DIS-D scores (B = -0.90 and 0.77; p < 0.001) were correlated with age-related BFMMS scores (B = -0.49; p < 0.001; r = 0.87; p < 0.001), whereas DIS-C scores were age-independent. Ataxic scores revealed stronger age-related regression coefficients than dyskinetic and dystonic scores (4-8 years; p < 0.05).
INTERPRETATION: In healthy children, comparison between physiological dyskinesia, dystonia and ataxia rating scale scores revealed: 1. inverse age-relatedness for dystonic and ataxic scores, but not for choreoathetotic scores, 2. interrelated dystonic DIS-D and BFMMS scores, 3. the strongest age-related expression by ataxic scores. In healthy children, these physiological movement disorder-like features are interpreted as an expression of the developing underlying motor centres.