Dystonia

Dystonia is an involuntary contraction of muscles in one or more parts of the body. The disorder is classified based on the group of affected muscles, like neck (spasmodic torticollis), eyelids (blepharospasm), voice (spasmodic dysphonia), jaw (Meige syndrome), or generalized dystonia. The latter is usually hereditary.

Tremor in a body part affected by dystonia is a well-known phenomena. However, the mechanism of it is unknown. The pattern of tremor differs from ET. Dystonic Tremor is localized to the dystonic body part, has an irregular pattern with variable frequency, and usually resolves with complete rest. Gestes antagonistes, a sensory trick used by a lot of patients to overcome dystonic movement by touching the involved body part (like placing the hand on the cheek in cases of cervical dystonia), frequently reduces tremor. Dystonic Tremor usually responds to botulinum toxin injections. Sometimes patients with dystonia (e.g. cervical dystonia and upper-limbs postural tremor) may have ET type tremor in the body part not affected by dystonia: i.e. ET/dystonia overlap syndrome.

The Dystonia clinic offers comprehensive management for patients with dystonia and other hyperkinetic movement disorders. We offer complex medical management and botulinum toxin injections when appropriate.

Relevant Links: Surgical Management of Dystonia | Thalamotomy | Pallidotomy | Additional Reading