Treatment should focus on the cause, specific symptoms, and patient's age.
The environment should be changed so that it is safer for patients who cause injury to themselves.
Behavioral techniques and psychotherapy have been the most successful treatment methods.
Some medications, including naltrexone, may also help reduce symptoms related to this condition. Antidepressants have been used in some cases.
The outlook depends on the cause. Stereotypic movements due to drugs usually goes away on its own after a few hours. Long-term abuse of stimulants, however, may lead to longer periods of stereotypic movement behavior. The movements usually go away once the drug or drugs are stopped.
Stereotypic movements due to head injury may be permanent.
The movement problems usually do not progress to other disorders (such as seizures).
Severe stereotypic movements may interfere with normal social functioning.
Call your health care provider if your child has repeated, odd movements that last longer than a few hours.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed, Arlington, Va: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
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