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Sexual dysfunction in cervical dystonia and blepharospasm

Authors Marek M, Grobe-Einsler M, Bedarf JR, Wabbels B, Paus S

Received 24 May 2018

Accepted for publication 12 September 2018

Published 26 October 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2847—2852


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

M Marek,1 M Grobe-Einsler,1 JR Bedarf,1 B Wabbels,2 S Paus1

1Department of Neurology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; 2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Background: Sexual dysfunction is a frequent, yet underrated, symptom of neurological disease. While knowledge of non-motor comorbidity in focal dystonia is growing rapidly, there is no information on the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in cervical dystonia (CD) or blepharospasm (BL).
Methods: In this controlled study, we examined sexual dysfunction in 65 patients with CD and 54 patients with BL by the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale, a validated self-rating scale.
Results: Sexual dysfunction was significantly higher in CD patients (45%) than in controls (24%), and frequent in BL (39%). Interestingly, variables of dystonia such as disease duration or severity did not influence sexuality; yet, 23% of CD patients ascribed worsening of their sexual life to dystonia. Symptoms of depression were identified as the most important predictors for sexual dysfunction, followed by age, and personal status (single).
Conclusion: Our observations establish sexual dysfunction as a frequent non-motor symptom in CD and BL that is perceived as a burden. It should be considered when investigating patients with adult-onset focal dystonia.

Keywords: dystonia, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, sexual dysfunction, depression

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