Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions. This condition may cause slow and repetitive tremor-like movements or unusual postures.
It results from an abnormality in the basal ganglia – a part of the brain that controls movements. These abnormal movements may affect the face, eyelids, vocal cords, arms, hands, legs, or feet. Dystonia may affect one part of the body (focal dystonia), two or more parts (segmental dystonia), or various parts of the body (general dystonia). It starts slowly but may get progressively worse, affecting one’s daily activities.
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Following are some of the most commonly observed symptoms of Dystonia in people.
Diagnosis of dystonia is not a single-step process and requires a series of tests to get a definitive answer. Your doctor will evaluate your systems and perform a physical exam to diagnose this condition. Other tests may include:
Depending upon the condition of the patient, Dystonia can be treated with surgical or non-surgical methods:
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There is no specific cause of dystonia. It might be caused due to an abnormality or damage to the basal ganglia or any other part of the brain that controls the body’s movements.
Focal and segmental dystonia are life-threatening. However, general dystonia can affect various parts of the body that may affect major body functions causing life-threatening conditions.
Most patients develop dystonia over time. However, conditions like rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism may develop within hours or days but it’s rare.
No. Dystonia does not affect heart muscles. However, it may affect vocal cords which may cause shortness of breath.
No. Dystonia does not affect bones primarily. However, the abnormal posture caused by muscle spasms may stress the bones causing excessive wear in the affected area.