Akinesia: Everything You Need to Know About Akinesia [Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment]

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This article is about akinesia. You might haven’t heard about this disorder. Akinesia is an age-related disease and probably it is the symptom of many disorders.

Akinetic states are linked with various etiological causes that differ with the age of the patient. Adults patients who have akinesia can present single or as a result of neurodegenerative disorders.

In this article, we will provide you with a chunk of knowledge for your awareness. 

What is Akinesia?

The term akinesia means the inefficacy to perform clinically perceivable actions. It is the loss of the ability to move your muscles voluntarily. Akinesia can occur as a retarded response, freezing mid-action, or even total stopping of movement.

The most common sign of akinesia is freezing means the organ is no longer performing its functions as a result of a neurological condition. 

How Does it Happen?

These conditions cause nerve cells to weaken and die in your brain’s movement centers. Then the neurons are not able to transfer signals to nerves and muscles. This can cause you to drop your potential to control your muscles.

This can include muscles in your face, hands, legs, or other muscles you use routinely. Akinesia is progressive. Most of the conditions of akinesia are growing and untreatable but it is not for all disorders. 

Symptoms of Akinesia

Freezing is the most common symptom of akinesia. This can make you suffer rigidity in one or more muscle groups. It causes your facial expression to freeze like it is swelling. It’s most often reported as a symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In akinesia, there is the negligence of a quick build-up of enough power to start up the movement.

Other symptoms that may seem along with akinesia if you have Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Shaking of muscles (tremors)
  • Not able to keep a specific posture
  • Moving slowly 
  • Taking a longer time to finish physical tasks
  • Softening of the voice or slowed speech
  • Not being able to stand up 

The following symptoms were also recognized because of a condition called progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP);

  • Vision loss or blurred vision
  • Not being able to maintain eye contact for very long
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Having depression, including mood swings
  • Not being able to move the eyes very quickly
  • Difficulty in looking up and down easily
  • Not being able to maintain eye contact for very long

Causes of Akinesia

The causes of akinesia are dependent upon the age group. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, males have more possibility to have akinesia than women. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the most persistent and representative disease within the scale of the ‘akinetic rigid syndromes.

Adult-onset akinesia is associated with two main causes which are pure isolated akinesia and late stages of disorders affecting the basal ganglia or frontal lobes In adults, there are the following causes; 

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Hormone level
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Normal-pressure hydrocephalus

Akinesia can cause a fetus in the womb. This condition is called fetal akinesia. In these cases, the baby’s lung does not form properly or there is a defect in the facial features. The movement of the fetus is irregular in the womb. Fetal akinesia is also due to genes. The causes include; 

  • Intrauterine fetal death or rarely a live birth
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Reduced movement
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • The short umbilical cord
  • Pulmonary hypoplasia 

What Are The Risk Factors?

The principal cause of akinesia appears to be a dysfunction in phasic and tonic dopamine release. The risk factors of akinesia include; 

  • History of bradykinesia 
  • Postural instability
  • Problems with muscle rigidity
  • Having Parkinson’s disease for a long time

Diagnosis of Akinesia

The diagnosis of akinesia is based on the following; 

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Functional MRI
  • Single-photon emission computed tomography
  • Positron emission tomography

Treatment & Management of Akinesia


Akinesia in Parkinson’s disease can cause an outcome of a deficiency of dopamine. Your brain makes dopamine and passes it along into your body by neurons.

One of the most common treatments for akinesia as an outcome of PD is a combination of levodopa, a central nervous system agent, and carbidopa.

These medications have side effects when they interact with other drugs, so it is necessary to consult your doctor first. 


Taking over-the-counter relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can aid in decreasing some of the pain levels that PD, PSP, and their linked medications can cause.

Conclusive Thoughts

The most common sign of akinesia is freezing. These conditions cause nerve cells to weaken and die in your brain’s movement centers.

Akinesia can make you suffer rigidity in one or more muscle groups. As it is an incurable disease means there is no cure developed yet.

All you can do is take medication, therapies, and exercise to make your life better. Consult your doctor first before taking any medications. 

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