Difference Between Akinesia and Akathisia

Diseases impair the normal functioning of the human body. Often it is said that Diseases cause our body to be dysfunctional.


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It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, pathogens, fungi etc. Diseases can be categorised depending upon their nature.

It can be either genetic, acute, acquired, hereditary, incurable, primary, secondary, terminal etc.

The disorder is something that shows the abnormality of the human body. Disorders are also of various types of mental disorders, physical disorders, genetic disorders, emotional and behavioural disorders, functional disorders etc.

Akinesia and Akathisia are the two types of functional disorders that occur due to movement.

Akinesia vs Akathisia

The difference between Akinesia and Akathisia is that in Akinesia, a person loses the ability to move his/her muscles voluntarily. Mostly this condition is related to Parkinson’s disease. But it can happen due to other conditions as well. Akathisia is characterized as a movement disorder where a person cannot sit still. He/She always wants to move because sitting makes them restless. Legs are most affected by Akathisia. Symptoms of Akinesia includes slow movement in the body and freezing. Symptoms of Akathisia include restless feelings in the body.

Akinesia vs Akathisia

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Akinesia is a condition where a person forgets to move its muscles voluntarily. Causes of Akinesia are progressive.

Most of the conditions of Akinesia are incurable. Only medication can be helpful for it.

One of the signs that are most commonly seen in Akinesia is freezing. It means that one of the body parts of the person cannot move due to a neurological condition.

Akinesia causes the neurons to weaken, and as a result it one loses control of the muscles. It includes muscles in your face, hands, legs, or other muscles you use every day.

Akathisia is a disorder where there is restlessness and an inability to sit still. Legs are most affected by it, and there may be an uneasy feeling in the body.

The most severe conditions of Akathisia include suicidal thoughts, aggression and violence. Medication can improve Akathisia, but sometimes it is characterized as neuropsychiatric without any symptoms or abnormalities.

Symptoms of Akathisia include tension, twitchy, restlessness, feeling nervous, uneasy, and an inability to relax. In 1981, it was first reported by Jack Henry Abbott.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAkinesiaAkathisia
CausesHypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease or due to genetic condition.Antipsychotics, metoclopramide, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, reserpine.
SymptomsFreezing and slow movement.Uneasiness, Restlessness, not able to sit still, uneasy.
TreatmentCarbidopa and levodopaBeta-blockers, benzodiazepines, and anticholinergic medicine.
FetusesOccur in fetusesDoesn’t happen
ComplicationMuscle rigidity, inability, difficulty in walking etc.Suicidal thoughts or violence.

What is Akinesia?

Often Akinesia is confused with dyskinesia. But it is very different from it.

In akinesia, a person is not able to move his/her muscles at all entirely.

It doesn’t mean that muscles of the body have lost the ability to move. But extrapyramidal system or the part that controls the movement is to be at fault.

One of the very common symptoms of Akinesia is freezing. One of the muscles can get stiff at a time.

Then in the face, it will look like a frozen expression. Akinesia happens because of a lot of medical conditions.

Among which is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). In these, it affects the ability of walking and balance.

It happens in this condition very much earlier than Parkinson’s Disease.

Other symptoms of Akinesia include shaking of muscles in hands and fingers, especially when you’re resting or distracted, slowed speech, the voice becomes soft,

not being able to stand in the correct posture, difficulty in standing straight, moving very slowly etc.

When Akinesia happens in the face along with PSP, then there may be blurred vision, movement of eyes is slow, trouble in swallowing, eye contact is difficult, depression, mood swings etc.

Medications can help to improve Akinesia but to a certain extent. It can also cause side effects.

If the medication doesn’t help, then a surgical method can be used by the doctor where electrodes may be implanted to stimulate movement. But it can only happen in advanced cases.

What is Akathisia?

Akathisia is often used with the term antipsychotics. Because it can cause Akathisia.

On stopping the medication of antipsychotics, dopamine levels may fall. Akathisia may be measured using Barnes Akathisia Scale that can measure both objective and subjective criteria.

Making the precise measurement of akathisia is difficult as it can involve different types of disorders with varying symptoms.

One of the main symptoms of Akathisia that make it different from other diseases is restlessness and tension.

Sometimes Akathisia can be mistaken for other characteristics like mood disorder, antipsychotic dysphoria, restless legs syndrome (RLS), anxiety, insomnia, drug withdrawal states, tardive dyskinesia,

or other neurological and medical condition. Acute akathisia is sometimes treated by stopping the medication.

The term ‘Akathisia’ was first used by Ladislav Haškovec, a Czech neuropsychiatrist who introduced the phenomena in 1901.

Akathisia is a Greek word that means inability to sit. It is a movement disorder.

Complications involved in it may sometimes lead to violence and suicide.

The first person that was diagnosed by Akathisia was Jack Henry Abbott, who described it as a feeling of restlessness, where a person wants to walk, and you cannot get relief in it.

Main Differences Between Akinesia and Akathisia

  1. Causes of Akinesia includes Hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease or due to genetic condition. Causes of Akathisia includes Antipsychotics, metoclopramide, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, reserpine.
  2. Symptoms of Akinesia include Freezing and slow movement. Symptoms of Akathisia include Uneasiness, restlessness, not being able to sit still, uneasy.
  3. Treatment of Akinesia is Carbidopa and levodopa. Treatment of Akathisia are Beta-blockers, benzodiazepines, and anticholinergic medicine.
  4. Akinesia can occur in fetuses. Akathisia doesn’t happen in fetuses.
  5. Complications in Akinesia include muscle rigidity, inability, difficulty in walking etc. The complication in Akathisia includes suicidal thoughts or violence.
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1990-17301-001
  2. https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article-abstract/29/3/547/1928730

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