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This September, during Dystonia Awareness Month, we are collaborating with Dystonia Europe to raise awareness of dystonia, a rare neurological movement disorder.
We are encouraging everyone to increase their knowledge about Dystonia - what are the symptoms, the treatments available - to know how to #SpotDystonia
Dystonia can cause severe involuntary muscle contractions that force certain parts of the body into repetitive, twisting movements or painful postures.
You may notice a body part in an uncomfortable position. There may be repetitive and patterned body movement – very similar to a tremor.
For some people, dystonic symptoms may only appear during specific tasks (e.g., hand dystonia whilst you are playing a musical instrument).
Movement on one side of the body may activate dystonia symptoms on the opposite side.
Some dystonic symptoms can be temporarily relieved by a gentle touch or specific action called a sensory trick.
There are no specific tests, such as blood tests or scans, which determine whether a person has dystonia. As many family doctors are unfamiliar with Dystonia, it has led to a large number of undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed patients.
Although dystonia has no cure, there are a number of treatments available for finding relief:
Like a pacemaker for the heart, a neurostimulator continuously produces electrical impulses that are sent to the brain to block or regulate abnormal brain messages that cause some of the movement symptoms of dystonia.
Amybel Taylor tells her story about how DBS therapy changed her life.
Amybel has lived with Dystonia for the majority of her life. At first she coped, but as her symptoms got worse she started considering DBS surgery.
1 http://www.braincouncil.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Dystonia-fact-sheet-August-2011.pdf (Accessed July 08, 2020)
2 Andrews C, et al. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2010; 81(12):1383–9.
3 Albanese A, et al. Eur J Neurol. 2011; 18(1):5–18.
4 Markun LC, et al. Neurosurgery 2012;71(2):325–30.
5 FitzGerald JJ, et al. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2014; 85 (12):1371–6.
6 Park HR, et al. PLoS One. 2016;11(1): e0146644.
7 Volkmann J, et al. Lancet Neurol. 2012;11(12):1029–38.
8 Krauss JK. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2002;78(3–4):168–82.
9 Krauss JK, et al. J Clin Neurophysiol;21(1):18–30.
10 Kiss ZHT, et al. Brain. 2007;130 (Pt 11):2879–86.
11 Hung SW, et al. Neurology. 2007; 68(6):457–9.
* Number of unique patients implanted (i.e., “new patients”)
Results may vary from patients to patients. Not everyone who receives Medtronic DBS Therapy will experience the same results. Some people may experience significant symptom relief from DBS Therapy, and others may experience minimal relief.
This information is designed to help you learn more about DBS therapy. It is intended to provide you with helpful information but is for information purposes only, is not medical advice and should not be used as an alternative to speaking with your doctor. Be sure to discuss questions specific to your health and treatments with a healthcare professional. For more information please speak to your healthcare professional. See the device manual for detailed information regarding the instructions for use, indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and potential adverse events. For more information on our products, please visit; medtronic.co.uk