Emotional well-being and pain could be a greater determinant of quality of life compared to motor severity in cervical dystonia

Lisa Klingelhoefer*, Maximilian Kaiser, Anna Sauerbier, Robert Untucht, Miriam Wienecke, Könül Mammadova, Björn Falkenburger, Olaf Gregor, K. Ray Chaudhuri, Heinz Reichmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Non-motor symptoms (NMS) occur in patients with cervical dystonia (CD) but with variable frequencies and impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). To define non-motor and motor profiles and their respective impact on HRQoL in CD patients using the newly validated Dystonia Non-Motor Symptoms Questionnaire (DNMSQuest). In an observational prospective multicentre case–control study, we enrolled 61 patients with CD and 61 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) comparing demographic data, motor and non-motor symptoms and HRQoL measurements. 95% CD patients reported at least one NMS. Mean total NMS score was significantly higher in CD patients (5.62 ± 3.33) than in HC (1.74 ± 1.52; p < 0.001). Pain, insomnia and stigma were the most prevalent NMS and HRQoL was significantly impaired in CD patients compared to HC. There was strong correlation of NMS burden with HRQoL (CDQ-24: r = 0.72, EQ-5D: r = − 0.59; p < 0.001) in CD patients. Regression analysis between HRQoL and NMS suggested that emotional well-being (standardized beta = − 0.352) and pain (standardized beta = − 0.291) had a major impact on HRQoL while, in contrast motor severity had no significant impact in this model. Most NMS with the exception of pain, stigma and ADL did not correlate with motor severity. NMS are highly prevalent in CD patients and occur independent of age, sex, disease duration, duration of botulinum neurotoxin therapy and socio-economic status. Specific NMS such as emotional well-being and pain have a major impact on HRQoL and are more relevant than motor severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-314
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Cervical dystonia
  • DNMSQuest
  • Dystonia Non-Motor Symptoms Questionnaire
  • Non-motor symptoms
  • Quality of life


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