FNDS Webinar

Functional Dystonia: A Twist in an Uncertain Tale


Christopher D. StephenChristopher D. Stephen, MB ChB, FRCP, SM is a neurologist clinician-scientist with a special interest in rare neurogenetic movement disorders (dystonia, ataxias and their overlap), as well as functional neurological disorders (FND) , with substantial clinical and research expertise in this field. Dr. Stephen is an attending neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. He is a highly collaborative clinical researcher and is a member of the MGH FND Research Program and the MGH Center for Rare Neurological Diseases, with a goal of advancing patient care in FND and rare neurogenetic disorders. Within the field of functional movement disorders, he has a particular interest in functional dystonia, which is beset with diagnostic and management challenges. In the area of rare neurological diseases, he is a member of the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association Scientific Advisory Council, co-lead investigator for the Coordinating Center for the XDP-TRACK natural history of X-linked dystonia parkinsonism, and a member of the steering committee of the Movement Disorders Society Rare Movement Disorders Study Group. He has expertise in the quantitative assessment of movement disorders using motion analysis, particularly rare ataxias and dystonias, with a view to their use as potential motor biomarkers of disease severity and progression. He is also an epidemiologist, through his training at the Harvard School of Public Health and has published on the epidemiology, cost and healthcare utilization in FND.

Moderator: Alberto Espay, MD, MSc - University of Cincinnati


  1. To identify the clues that raise an index of suspicion for functional dystonia.
  2. To understand the rule in signs on exam that assist in making a diagnosis of functional dystonia.
  3. To understand the limitations of examination signs in diagnosing a functional dystonia.

Date and Time

Date: Monday, November, 27 2023

Time: 11:00 am Eastern Time | 4:00 pm UTC (duration 1 hour)


Registration is open to anyone interested in this topic. There is no fee to participate; however, registration is required. In addition to the live presentation a recording will be available for FNDS members to view on the FNDS website.


This educational activity is sponsored in part by an educational grant from Merz.



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