Athetosis is a symptom characterized by slow, involuntary, convoluted, writhing movements of the fingers, hands, toes, and feet and in some cases, arms, legs, neck and tongue. Movements typical of athetosis are sometimes called athetoid movements. Lesions to the brain are most often the direct cause of the symptoms, particularly to the corpus striatum. This symptom does not occur alone and is often accompanied by the symptoms of cerebral palsy, as it is often a result of this physical disability. Treatments for athetosis are not very effective, and in most cases are simply aimed at managing the uncontrollable movement, rather than the cause itself.


Athetosis can vary from mild to severe motor dysfunction; it is generally characterized by unbalanced, involuntary movements of muscle and a difficulty maintaining a symmetrical posture. The associated motor dysfunction can be restricted to a part of the body or present throughout the body, depending on the individual and the severity of the symptom. One of the pronounced signs can be observed in the extremities in particular, as the writhing, convoluted movement of the digits. Athetosis can appear as early as 18 months from birth with first signs including difficulty feeding, hypotonia, spasm, and involuntary writhing movements of the hands, feet, and face, which progressively worsen through adolescence and at times of emotional distress. Athetosis is caused by lesions in several brain areas such as the hippocampus and the motor thalamus, as well as the corpus striatum; therefore children during the developmental age could possibly suffer from severe communication deficits such as speech impairment, hearing loss, and failed or delayed acquirement of sitting balance, although most people with athetosis have normal or near-normal intelligence.


Athetosis is a symptom primarily caused by the marbling, or degeneration of the basal ganglia. This degeneration is most commonly caused by complications at birth or by Huntington's disease, in addition to rare cases in which the damage may also arise later in life due to stroke or trauma.


The two complications of particular interest are:

  • intranatal asphyxia and
  • neonatal jaundice.


Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced all over the world. It strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. When is concerned there are many effective medicines available in Homoeopathy , but the selection depends upon the individuality of the patient , considering mental and physical symptoms

Few homoeopathic medicine can be thought of in the treatment of athetosis are:

lathyrus sativus, strychninum purum, veratrum alba.