Is Skater’s Cramp a Task-Specific Dystonia?


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    Skater’s cramp is a mysterious and debilitating movement disorder that affects Olympic and amateur speed-skaters alike, often spelling the end of their careers. Affected skaters will often experience a sudden jerk of their foot before placing their skate on the ice after a completed stroke causing instability and risking a fall. Many explanations for skater’s cramp have been proposed, but ensuing treatments have been unsuccessful. Based on clinical and subjective assessments of individual cases of skater’s cramp by neurologists at the UMCG, the diagnosis task-specific dystonia was proposed. The purpose of this thesis was to further investigate this proposed diagnosis, using quantitative measures to help answer our major research question: is skater’s cramp a task-specific dystonia? In multiple experiments collecting clinical, movement, muscle, and psychometric data, results were supportive of the answer: yes. Although not definitive, this evidence is an important first step in better understanding this mysterious disorder, and may eventually lead to more informed and effective treatments for those affected.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • de Koning-Tijssen, Marina, Supervisor
    • Zwitter, Andrej, Supervisor
    Datum van toekenning13-jun.-2023
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    StatusPublished - 2023

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