All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Kristen Triebel

Advisory Committee Members

Olivio Clay

Michael Crowe

Roy Martin

Harrison Walker

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


Dystonia is defined as involuntary, sustained muscle contractions often causing twisting and repetitive movements. While dystonia is classified as a movement disorder with marked motor disturbance, there are also non-motor features associated with this disorder such as psychiatric, sensory, and neurocognitive deficits. This dissertation research focuses on the neurocognitive deficits found in patients with primary dystonia. Prior studies examining cognition in primary dystonia have often had the limitations of having small samples and lacking control groups. In addition, cognition is often assessed in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgical candidacy evaluations, but neurocognitive deficits have not been studied as a predictor of which patients are selected to have DBS surgery. Taken together, the following objectives of this study are to address gaps in the literature by 1) conducting a comprehensive literature review of cognition in patients with primary dystonia, 2) examining the neurocognitive profile of primary dystonia in a larger clinical sample compared to age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy controls, and 3) exploring whether there are any significant neurocognitive predictors of DBS consensus conference decision in patients with primary dystonia.



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