Share this entry
athetosis Syllabification: ath·e·to·sis
Pronunciation: /ˌaTHəˈtōsəs/

Definition of athetosis in English:


A condition in which abnormal muscle contractions cause involuntary writhing movements. It affects some people with cerebral palsy, impairing speech and use of the hands.
Example sentences
  • Because of increased physical activity through involuntary movements, non-ambulatory children with athetosis are hyperactive and may have increased energy expenditure.


Pronunciation: /ˈaTHiˌtoid/
Example sentences
  • It can cause athetoid cerebral palsy characterized by uncontrollable tremors or writhing movements of the limbs, body and face, hearing loss, problems with vision and teeth and, sometimes, mental retardation.
  • Without treatment, severe jaundice can pose a risk of permanent brain damage resulting in athetoid cerebral palsy.
  • He gives the example of a girl with athetoid cerebral palsy with very little control over her limbs and who speaks through a specialist computer.
Pronunciation: /-ˈtätik/
Example sentences
  • Descriptions of the predominant motor disorder refer to spastic, dystonic, athetotic, and ataxic features.
  • Kernicterus is not diagnosed until around 18 months when athetotic cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and loss of upward gaze can be paired with specific MRI findings and a history of severe jaundice.
  • The hallmark of the disorder is involuntary choreiform and athetotic movements, hence it is also known as Huntington's chorea.


Late 19th century: from Greek athetos 'without position' + -osis.

Definition of athetosis in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources