from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In pathology, a condition in which the hands and feet cannot be maintained in any position in which they are placed, but continually perform involuntary, slow, irregular movements.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) A variety of chorea, marked by peculiar tremors of the fingers and toes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun medicine A series of involuntary writhing movements of the limbs, typically bilateral and symmetric and predominantly affecting the distal parts of the limbs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a continuous succession of slow, writhing, involuntary movements of the hands and feet and other body parts


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Many children who have spasticity or athetosis also have problems with balance.

    1) Head Control and Use of Senses

  • Stiffness, with the knees bent or with legs separated, occurs more commonly in the child with spasticity and athetosis combined (see below).

    1) Head Control and Use of Senses

  • Most children with athetosis have normal intelligence, but if the muscles needed for speech are affected, it may be hard for them to communicate their thoughts and needs.

    1) Head Control and Use of Senses

  • These include tongue protrusion; lip smacking; chewing movements; blinking; athetosis of the fingers and toes; shoulder shrugging; and myoclonic movements of the head, neck, and extremities.

    The Neuropsychiatric Guide to Modern Everyday Psychiatry

  • ` ` Some degree of mental deficiency seems usually to accompany athetosis, even when uncomplicated by any other degenerating neurosis.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • According to Drewry 17.16 ` ` athetosis is a cerebral affection, presenting a combination of symptoms characterized chiefly by a more or less constant mobility of the extremities and an inability to retain them in any fixed position.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • The following is the report of a case by Drewry, of double (or, more strictly speaking, quadruple) athetosis, associated with epilepsy and insanity: ` ` The patient was a negro woman, twenty-six years old when she was admitted into this, the Central State (Va.)

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • The silly, dancing, posturing, wiry movements, and the facial distortion observed in Huntington's chorea would hardly be mistaken by a careful observer for athetosis.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • The differential diagnosis of athetosis is generally easily made.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • So-called post-hemiplegic chorea is, in the opinion of both Hammond and Gray, simply athetosis.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • That's my day in a nutshell.

    June 6, 2008

  • Must be that rocking chair.

    June 6, 2008

  • I wish you'd stop writhing, dontcry.

    June 6, 2008

  • Or I'll have to call you dontwrithe.

    June 6, 2008

  • You're prolly right. I'm giving up the chair -- except for weekends. That should take care of the writhing. But honestly -- it's the involuntary part that gets to me.

    June 7, 2008