Movement Disorders for the NBCOT® Exam: Let’s Review

The NBCOT Exam may test candidates on movement disorders associated with neurological conditions. Movement disorders may have confusing terminologies that all sound similar. Examples include tremors, dyskinesia, and clonus.

Role of OT in movement disorders

Movement disorders can lead to a loss of functional ability such as with activities of daily living and decreased quality of life. OTs can work with the patient, modify the task or environment, or work with caregivers to help them cope with their symptoms of movement disorders.

The process is the same as for other conditions and involves evaluation, assessment, outcome measurements, collaboration, and intervention planning.

Example Conditions

You are more likely to do well on the NBCOT exam if you are familiar with these movement disorders and their associated conditions. Examples of conditions with movement disorders include (but are not limited to):

  • ALS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Stroke


The cause of movement disorders can be neurological in apathy or due to medications Examples of neurological etiology include brain lesions and damage, such as in the basal ganglia or increased levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine.

Medications can also affect motor behavior, such as with neuroleptics.


One way to classify movement disorders in your head for the NBCOT Exam is into two categories: hypokinesias and hyperkinesias.

Fahn, S. (2011). Classification of movement disorders. Movement Disorders, 26(6), 947-957.

Review this information

Let’s review each term!

In the following video featured from my free NBCOT Exam Prep Course, we will review the most relevant movement disorder terms.

After you watch this video, Quiz your knowledge of these movement disorders based on the video clip examples.



Fahn, S. (2011). Classification of movement disorders. Movement Disorders, 26(6), 947-957.

Gross, R. G., & Grossman, M. (2008). Update on apraxia. Current neurology and neuroscience reports, 8(6), 490-496.

Sienaert, P., Rooseleer, J., & De Fruyt, J. (2011). Measuring catatonia: a systematic review of rating scales. Journal of affective disorders, 135(1-3), 1-9.

Rasmussen SA, Mazurek MF, Rosebush PI. Catatonia: Our current understanding of its diagnosis, treatment and pathophysiology. World J Psychiatry. 2016 Dec 22;6(4):391-398. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v6.i4.391. PMID: 28078203; PMCID: PMC5183991

Fariduddin MM, Bansal N. Hypothyroid Myopathy. [Updated 2021 Dec 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

Hadavi, S., Noyce, A. J., Leslie, R. D., & Giovannoni, G. (2011). Stiff person syndrome. Practical neurology, 11(5), 272-282.

Bjarke, J., Gjerde, H. N., Jørgensen, H. A., Kroken, R. A., Løberg, E. M., & Johnsen, E. (2022). Akathisia and atypical antipsychotics: relation to suicidality, agitation and depression in a clinical trial. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 1-7.

Balint B, Thomas R. Hereditary Hyperekplexia Overview. 2007 Jul 31 [Updated 2019 Dec 19]. In: Adam MP, Mirzaa GM, Pagon RA, et al., editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2022. Available from: