Dystonia

Dystonia Your Health

Treatment Options

Treatment Options for Dystonia

Although dystonia has no cure, there are a number of treatments available for finding relief from the symptoms.

Drug Therapies

There are many medications that are commonly used to treat dystonia. No single drug works for every individual, and several trials of medications may be necessary to determine which is most appropriate for you. Most of the medications used to treat dystonia work by affecting the neurotransmitter chemicals in the nervous system that execute the brain’s instructions for muscle movement and the control of movement.1

Medication Injections

This treatment involves the injection of medications directly into the affected muscles.


Rhizotomy and Pallidotomy

Surgeries such as rhizotomy and pallidotomy involve the ablation or removal of certain parts of the brain (pallidotomy) or the cutting of nerves in the spinal cord (rhizotomy).

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for Dystonia

DBS is a brain stimulation therapy that offers an adjustable, reversible method of treatment for dystonia. The treatment uses an implanted medical device similar to a pacemaker to deliver electrical stimulation to precisely targeted areas of the brain. Stimulation of these areas enables the brain circuits that control movement to function better.

DBS therapy is designed to control some of the primary symptoms of dystonia, such as muscle spasms, twisting, involuntary contractions, posturing, and uncontrolled movements.

Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB) for Dystonia

ITB is another reversible therapy consisting of an implantable pump and catheter. The pump delivers a liquid form of baclofen, called Lioresal Intrathecal (baclofen injection), directly into the intrathecal space where fluid flows around the spinal cord. The medication is delivered directly to the site of action (i.e., cerebral spinal fluid and spinal cord) and can be titrated to variable doses to meet a patient’s needs throughout the day and week.


References

1

Oral Medications. Available at: www.dystonia-foundation.org. Accessed on July 15, 2008.


This website is intended to be educational and is not to be used as a diagnostic tool. It is not intended to replace the information provided to you by your healthcare providers and does not constitute medical advice. The information may not be directly applicable for your individual clinical circumstance. Please talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.