There is no cure for Dystonia, however there are a number of treatments available to relieve the symptoms. It might take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you and the doctor can discuss the right option with you. Scroll down for info on some treatments available.
Artane or Cogentin block the effects of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that causes contractions.
Valium or Rivotril help block the Gaba-A receptor in the central nervous system and relax muscles.
Medication such as Baclofen act as a muscle relaxant and can also be given via a surgically implanted pump that delivers the drug to the spinal cord.
These act on neurotransmitter Dopamine. Levodopa is an example of a Dopaminergic.
Want to know more about specific medicines? Visit NPS MedicineWise
A pharmacist can also discuss any changes or provide recommendations to your GP relating to Medication through the Home Medicines Review (HMR) Program. This can be done at your home.
Botulinum toxin -Botox
Botox is injected into affected muscles which blocks the affect of the chemical acetylcholine a neurotransmitter that causes muscle contractions. The signals that tell the muscle to contract is prevented and the muscle spasms are reduced. It is usually given every three months. The other commonly used brand of Botulinum Toxin Type A is Dysport. A new Brand is now also available known as Xeomin (Merz). More info: Botulinum toxin injections. For use in children visit our ‘Dystonia and Children’ page.
On 1 September 2015 new arrangements were put in place for providing or administering Botulinum Toxin to patients. There was some confusion with information provided to community so a new factsheet is available to better understand how it will affect patients or consumers.
For more info click on links provided.
Deep Brain Stimulation – DBS
DBS is surgery where thin electrodes are inserted in an area of the brain and attached to a device implanted under the skin of the chest or in the abdominal wall. Once activated device sends electrical impulses in the brain blocking the signals that cause tremors and other symptoms. For more info click on link provided.
Alternative treatments or Complementary therapies
There are a variety of other treatments that can help to Relieve pain, reduce muscle spasms or help with daily activities.
Individual suitable physical exercises or treatment to help cope with your condition, or neurophysiotherapy such as retraining muscle imbalances through rehabilitation exercises and education – Neurology Physiotherapy.
Helpful if have swallowing and voice/speech issues. For more info click on the following links.
Acupuncture or other similar treatments for pain relief may be an option but should be discussed with a doctor to ensure that it is suitable. More information: Complementary Medicine.
Any complementary treatment should be discussed with your GP or neurologist to ensure there is no risk of aggravating your condition.
Other treatments or methods to relieve or cope with the symptoms
Sensory tricks such as touching the chin may temporarily stop contractions. It has been argued or the belief that supplements such as Magnesium might relieve muscle spasms. However muscle spasms can relate to magnesium or other nutrient deficiencies. Stress may aggravate symptoms of Dystonia and seeing a Medical Professional to assist you to cope can be helpful. Relaxation techniques or meditation may be an option also.
Details on accessing Allied Health Services:
In particular circumstances you may be entitled to 5 Allied Health Services per year funded by Medicare. Be aware though that some health professionals may still charge a gap fee. You can contact the health professional and ask if they accept the Medicare amount only. For more info please click on link provided.
Click on link to further support or networks such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) https://australiandystoniasupportgroup.wordpress.com/links/