What is Dystonia

Dystonia is a neurological movement condition which affects adults and children. It can affect any part of the body and causes muscles to contract or spasm. This may cause pain, tremors, twisting and other uncontrollable movements. Symptoms may be due to the Basal Ganglia or other areas of the brain that control movement. Neurotransmitters may send signals to muscles to cause them to be overactive.

Dystonia may be genetic or result from other health conditions such as stroke, other diseases, physical trauma, or as a side effect to certain medications. If the only sign or symptoms is Dystonia it is known as idiopathic or primary Dystonia. There are different forms of Dystonia which is explained in more detail on ourtypes of Dystonia’ page.

Dystonia is classified by looking at clinical features or appearance, such as the age it started, which area of the body affected, if it progressives or remains unchanged and considering if there is an underlying cause, and the possibility it is inherited – The New Classification System for the Dystonias.

In Australia, there is no epidemiological data from Australia or a lack of research on the number of Australians who have Dystonia. However an estimate from overseas research, Primary Dystonia affects around 3 in 1000 people and this extrapolates to 70,000 people in AustraliaSource link: Epidemiology of primary dystonia.

 Did you know Dystonia medical nameDid you Know?

In 1911 Hermann Openhein a German Neurologist invented the term “dystonia musculorum deforums”.

Polish Neurologists, Flatau and Sterling disagreed with the term “musculorum” becuase they believed that it was just not a muscle condition. Not all became deformed and they considered the genetic nature of the condition. They preferred the term “progressive torsion spasm”.  

Link to document with brief history of Dystonia and unmet needs in a field that is evolving very fast  Unmet Needs in Dystonia PDF or EPUB

Link to more information  What is Dystonia?


One thought on “What is Dystonia

  1. Hi,

    Your website is a great resource – thank you.

    I thought I’d let you know of our Botulinum Toxin Clinic that we run in Wollongong Public Hospital. The link is http://www.islhd.health.nsw.gov.au/Services/Botulinum_Toxin_Clinic/default.asp.

    We offer treatment with Botox for many patients with dystonia. We simply require a GP referral letter so that we can meet with new patients and discuss their suitability.

    Kind regards,

    A/Prof John Carmody
    Neurologist, Wollongong, NSW

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s