About This Condition Dystonia

Overview

Dystonia* is a neurological movement disorder. 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.


*Humanitarian Device - Authorized by Federal Law as an aid in the management of chronic, intractable (drug refractory) primary dystonia, including generalized and/or segmental dystonia, hemidystonia, and cervical dystonia (torticollis), in patients seven years of age or above. The effectiveness of the devices for treating these conditions has not been demonstrated.


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.