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About Dystonia

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder affecting as many as 250,000 people in the United States.1 Primarily a hereditary condition, dystonia can cause severe involuntary muscle contractions that may interfere with your everyday life. A Medtronic therapy may be able to help.

Definition and Symptoms

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions. These contractions force certain parts of the body into repetitive, twisting movements or painful postures. Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder in the United States, following essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.1 

Dystonia can cause severe involuntary muscle contractions that may interfere often with everyday functions like walking, sleeping, eating, and talking.

Types of Dystonia

There are two types of dystonia:

  • Primary dystonia – a condition in which dystonia is the only symptom (no other pathology)
  • Secondary dystonia – the result of another health condition such as stroke or infections. It may also result from an injury, such as trauma to the brain

Dystonia is further classified by the part of the body that is affected:

  • Focal dystonia (including cervical) affects one area of the body
  • Segmental dystonia affects two or more nearby areas of the body
  • Generalized dystonia affects the entire body

Causes

Although the causes of dystonia are unclear, primary dystonia is mainly hereditary. Generalized dystonia is considered the most difficult form of dystonia to live with and to treat.

Reference

  1. Dystonia. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. aans.org. Accessed September 26, 2011.

 

Humanitarian Device: Medtronic DBS Therapy has been authorized by Federal Law for the use as an aid in the management of chronic, intractable (drug refractory) primary dystonia. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated. What does this mean?

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 9 Jan 2012

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