Micrographia (handwriting)

Micrographia, an acquired disorder, features abnormally small, cramped handwriting.[1] It is commonly associated with neurodegenerative disorders of the basal ganglia, such as in Parkinson's disease, but it has also been ascribed to subcortical focal lesions.[2] O'Sullivan and Schmitz describe it as an abnormally small handwriting that is difficult to read, as seen in the photo to the right.[3] Micrographia is also seen in patients with Wilson's disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Metamorphopsia, or with isolated focal lesions of the midbrain or basal ganglia.[1][4]

Example of writing by a patient with Parkinson's disease that may show micrographia in addition to other abnormal characteristics. Published by Jean-Martin Charcot in 1879.

Parkinson's disease Edit

A common feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) is difficulty in routine activities due to lack of motor control.[5] Patients have trouble maintaining the scale of movements and have reduced amplitude of movement (hypokinesia).[6] In PD, the trouble in scaling and controlling the amplitude of movement affects complex, sequential movements,[5] so that micrographia is a common symptom. Another cause of micrographia is lack of physical dexterity.

James Parkinson may have been aware of micrographia in patients with shaking palsy (later renamed Parkinson's disease), when he described "the hand failing to answer with exactness to the dictates of the will".[2]

Occurrence in Parkinson's Edit

Micrographia is often seen patients with Parkinson’s disease, although the precise prevalence is uncertain, with reported figures of between 9% and 75%.[7] Often appearing before other symptoms, it can help in diagnosis.[8]

Pharmacological management Edit

Micrographia may worsen when a PD patient is under-medicated and when the medication is wearing off.[9]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b A.J. Larner (12 November 2010). A Dictionary of Neurological Signs. Springer. p. 221. ISBN 978-1-4419-7095-4.
  2. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Movement Disorders, Three-Volume Set. Academic Press. 26 February 2010. ISBN 978-0-12-374105-9.
  3. ^ O'Sullivan & Schmitz 2007, p. 1339
  4. ^ Kinematic analysis of handwriting movements in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder
  5. ^ a b O'Sullivan & Schmitz 2007, p. 858
  6. ^ O'Sullivan & Schmitz 2007, p. 857
  7. ^ Ziliotto A, Cersosimo MG, Micheli FE (2015). "Handwriting Rehabilitation in Parkinson Disease: A Pilot Study". Ann Rehabil Med. 39: 586–91. doi:10.5535/arm.2015.39.4.586. PMC 4564706. PMID 26361595.
  8. ^ Robert B. Taylor (2 March 2013). Diagnostic Principles and Applications: Avoiding Medical Errors, Passing Board Exams, and Providing Informed Patient Care. Springer. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-1-4614-1111-6.
  9. ^ Paul Tuite; Hubert Fernandez; Cathi Thomas; Laura Ruekert (23 March 2009). Parkinson's Disease: A Guide to Patient Care. Springer Publishing Company. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8261-2269-8.

Bibliography Edit

  • O'Sullivan, Susan; Schmitz, Thomas (2007). Physical Rehabilitation. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company. pp. 857–1339.