Dysdiadochokinesia (DDK)


Dysdiadochokinesia (DDK) is the medical term used to describe the difficulty a person experiences trying to complete rapid alternating movements using opposing muscle groups. Dysdiadochokinesia (DDK) develops from changes to the cerebellum and is a form of ataxia. Your neurologist can perform simple in-office tests to evaluate dysdiadochokinesia.

Problem Movements

  • fast finger tapping
  • opening and closing of the fists
  • foot tapping
  • installing or removal of a light bulb
  • turning a doorknob
  • inarticulate or incomprehensible speech patterns
  • quickly repeating one to three syllables in a row
Dysdiadochokinesia diagnosis in superficial siderosis

Evaluation Tests

  • Rapidly Alternating Movement Evaluation

You’ll hold the palm of one hand on a flat surface (often the upper thigh), and then continuously flip the hand palm side up, then back to palm side down as fast as possible.

  • Point-To-Point Movement Evaluation

You’ll be asked to touch your nose and then, using the same finger and as quickly as possible, touch the outstretched finger of the person doing the test.

  • Heel-Shin Test

You’ll place one heel on one shin just below the knee, and then slide the heel down the shin to the foot. You should aim for rapid, coordinated movements.

  • Romberg Test

You’ll standstill with your heels together and your eyes closed. If you lose your balance in this position, you may have some form of DDK.

  • Gait Test

You’ll be asked to first walk with your normal stride and then walk heel to toe.


  • Physicial Theray
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
Sources: Superficial siderosis is a rare neurologic disease characterized by progressive sensorineural hearing loss, cerebellar ataxia, pyramidal signs, and neuroimaging findings revealing hemosiderin deposits in the spinal and cranial leptomeninges and subpial layer. The disease progresses slowly, and patients may present with mild cognitive impairment, nystagmus, dysmetria, spasticity, dysdiadochokinesia, dysarthria, hyperreflexia, and Babinski signs. Additional features reported include dementia, urinary incontinence, anosmia, ageusia, and anisocoria. Superficial siderosis MedGen UID: 831707 •Concept ID: CN226971 •Finding Orphanet: ORPHA247245
Living With SuperficialSiderosis Website PubMed Reference Library 
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