Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Original Article

Pathophysiological analysis of dropped head syndrome caused by various diagnoses
-Based on surface EMG findings and responses to physiotherapy-

Hsin-Ni LIN, Ph.D.1), Masanori Nagaoka, M.D., Ph.D.2), Yasuko Hayashi, M.D.2) and Ikuho Yonezawa, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Department of Orthopaedics, Juntendo University Graduate School
2)Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Juntendo University Graduate School

Dropped head syndrome is seen in various diseases. We investigated its pathophysiological mechanisms with physical and radiological examination, surface EMG and responses to physiotherapy. Subjects had dropped head as a complaint, but their primary diagnoses were various. We investigated 16 cases: 5 cases of Parkinson disease, 5 cases of multiple system atrophy predominant parkinsonism, 3 cases of cervical spondylosis and 3 cases with other diagnoses. We found that patients had common findings such as bulging of cervical muscles, and tonic EMG activities mainly in the extensors in the sitting and standing position, but in the flexors of the neck only in the supine position. Of the 16 cases, 14 were treated with physiotherapy to improve the alignment of the pelvis and whole vertebral column; 6 of the 14 cases (63%) showed remarkable improvement. We conclude that the primary reason of dropped head syndrome is unknown in Parkinson disease and cervical spondylosis, but also that many of the patients have secondary changes in alignment of the skeletomuscular system which could be treated with physiotherapy.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (1459K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 53: 430|438, 2013)
key words: dropped head syndrome, physiotherapy, postural abnormalities, surface electromyogram

(Received: 23-Oct-12)